Wal-Mart makes more changes to U.S. management team

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 810 views 

Changes continue at Walmart U.S. with CEO Greg Foran shaking up the status quo as part of a larger effort to streamline the reporting bureaucracy and improve store sales.

On Friday (May 1)  Foran and his chief operating officer Judith McKenna announced major shifts in personnel which include Mike Moore, who has been over the Neighborhood Market stores for just 11 months. Moore will move from his leadership over 613 Neighborhood Markets to the new executive vice president for more than 3,400 supercenter locations across the U.S. 

Last year Moore assembled an oversight team for the growing Neighborhood Market division which had previously run under the supercenter management. Moore felt this growing format needed its own team of executives which he assembled in July of 2014. 

With Moore stepping away from the Neighborhood Market team, Julie Murphy, who was the former executive vice president over Wal-Mart’s western division, will now assume those duties over small formats.

Moore previously oversaw for almost four years all operations in Wal-Mart’s central division. Prior to that he spent a year as senior vice president over the retailer’s general merchandise division. Moore joined Wal-Mart in 2005 and spent five years as a senior vice president over the western division.

The personnel change was not the only issue discussed in the internal memo sent by Foran and McKenna to Wal-Mart U.S. employees on Friday. In keeping with Foran’s game plan to simplify processes, the retailer eliminated an executive level which formerly supervised the West and East divisions of the company. 

With Murphy leaving her duties over the West to takeover Neighborhood Markets, Joaquin Gonzales Varela who held the similar post over the Eastern division has left the company. Rather than promote leaders up to those vacancies Foran opted to eliminate that level of oversight. The entire U.S. operation will now report directly to McKenna. 

This closely resembles what Foran did with the merchandising division a few months ago. All merchandising now reports directly to him. 

Retail analyst Walter Loeb, president of Loeb Associates, said direct reporting will allow for more initiatives and flexibility in the company. 

“It is a good move for the future growth of the divisions. I believe that it is likely that more innovative ideals will be tested with the elimination of the intermediary layer created by having a management level overseeing the two geographic divisions. I also believe that the company is returning to its heritage and empowers its store management to respond to local demands,” Loeb notes in a Forbes blog. 

Following are other announced personnel moves this year.
• Pam Kohn, executive vice president of Walmart Realty, left the company. 

• J.P. Suarez, promoted to executive vice president of Walmart Realty, will report to McKenna

• John Aden, executive vice president of innovation, left the company.

• Greg Hall, senior vice president of hardlines was named senior vice president of entertainment at Walmart U.S., reporting to Andy Barron. (Hardlines include home furnishings, electronics, jewelry, and sports equipment.)

• Terry Price was hired to assume senior vice president of hardlines.

• Jane Ewing, senior vice president, will lead “Next Generation Stock-up” team.

• Jeff McAllister, senior vice president, will lead “Next Generation Supply Chain” team.

• Latriece Watkins, senior buyer for snacks and beverages, will lead “Ways of Working” team.

• Jack Sinclair, senior vice president for Walmart U.S. Grocery, left the company March. 20.

• Tony Airoso, became senior vice president of global food sourcing. He is based in California.

• Chuck Tilmon, became vice president of fresh charter initiatives, which focuses on improved performance in fresh merchandise.

• Scott Neal assumed the new role of meat czar, a position created under Foran.

• Shawn Baldwin became senior vice president of fresh foods, a job also created by Foran.

• Jack Pestello became senior vice president of private brands, a job also created by Foran.