Change has been a theme at Bentonville-based Wal-Mart Stores under the new leadership of CEO Doug McMillon who took the helm almost a year ago. Executives continue to come and go from the retail giant, particularly in the flagship U.S. division.
John Aden, executive vice president of sales innovation, will be exiting the retailer on Jan. 31 to pursue other opportunities. Aden served in numerous leadership roles across the business, including U.S. merchandise services, small formats, general merchandise as well as the international operations and leverage teams.
Aden also served on the board of Walmart’s India joint venture and he led the retailer’s early efforts in Africa.
McMillon has approved several personnel moves which Walmart U.S. CEO Greg Foran shared in a corporate memo on Friday (Jan. 16). The City Wire obtained the memo which outlines the management shifts. Foran will take on a dual role of CEO and chief merchandising and marketing officer following the departure of Duncan Mac Naughton. Mac Naughton was once considered to be the next Walmart U.S. CEO.
Foran has made no secret about his plans to whip the U.S. business into shape. Major areas of focus include: improving fresh format, reducing inventory and boosting on-shelf availability numbers while also fostering a more seamless e commerce integration in the 4000-plus U.S. stores.
“As an organization, Walmart U.S. is very proud that several of our leaders were selected. It’s a strong testament to the great talent and expertise we have on this team,” Foran noted in the memo.
Jane Ewing, senior vice president, business development for Walmart U.S., will lead the “Next Generation Stock-up” work group, Foran said. She is joined by Jeff McAllister, senior vice president of Walmart Innovations, who will lead the “Next Generation Supply Chain” group, and Latriece Watkins, senior vice president, snacks and beverages at Walmart U.S. will lead the “Ways of Working” group.
“I’m very excited to see what Jane, Jeff and Latriece will bring to their new roles,” Foran said.
Other moves include Laura Phillips, senior vice president of entertainment, who is moving to “Omni-Channel Assortments” where she will retain the role of vice president.
Foran said in the new role Philips will support the company’s enterprise strategy leading the “Compelling Merchandise” group where she will help capture market share in key categories by utilizing the company’s physical stores and e-commerce assets. Phillips will report to Andy Barron, executive vice president for softlines at Walmart U.S.
(Softlines include apparel, linens, footwear and accessories.)
With Phillip’s move, Greg Hall, senior vice president of hardlines, has been named senior vice president of entertainment at Walmart U.S., reporting to Barron. (Hardlines include home furnishings, electronics, jewelry, and sports equipment.)
Hall first joined Walmart in 2005 as director of marketing for entertainment. He then worked as vice president of marketing at Walmart.com, and vice president of entertainment and U.S. manufacturing and sourcing, before being promoted to this position.
Foran also welcomed back Terry Price to fill Hall’s former role in Hardlines. Price is also reporting to Barron. Price was previously a 22-year associate, who began his career in store operations and held several executive roles within Walmart U.S. and Asda before leaving in 2003. Price recently worked at Tesco Stores as their CEO of general merchandise for the U.K. and central Europe, as well as their chairman of Dobbies Garden Centers.
Also noted in the memo was the retirement of Bryan Miller, senior vice president of Human Resources for Walmart U.S. MIller’s last day is Jan. 31.