Walmart.com cuts 200 from its California operations

by Kim Souza (ksouza@talkbusiness.net) 1,340 views 

Of the about 1,000 corporate jobs cuts at Wal-Mart Stores, about 200 are being cut from the Walmart.com division located in San Bruno, Calif.

The job reductions might seem counter-intuitive given that Wal-Mart is investing heavily in its e-commerce business, but Walmart.com CEO Marc Lore explained the layoffs as part of a reorganization effort to become more customer centric. In a memo sent to Walmart.com employees on Tuesday (Jan. 24), Lore said, “We’re making changes on the inside so our customers can experience the benefits on the outside. Within the U.S. eCommerce team, we’re approaching this in a number of ways.”

Earlier this month, Lore announced a new leadership team and made “updates to help us work smarter, move faster and ultimately win.” While Lore confirmed 200 positions were being eliminated, he said the company will add talent to the mix and continue to invest as it works to improve customer experiences.

The layoffs in California are part of the 1,000 job eliminations confirmed by Walmart U.S. over the past two weeks and like in Bentonville, the layoffs today were across the board involving the majority of teams working in the U.S. eCommerce organization.

“Saying goodbye to friends and co-workers isn’t easy and decisions like these are never made lightly. This is a tough time for those affected and it’s important to know that they are being treated with the utmost respect and care,” Lore noted in the email.

“As difficult as this decision is, I know it’s the right one. We have a clear strategy. We’ve structured the team for speed and simplicity. We’re building an organization with the right talent and experience. We’ve created an environment where the best minds across our many locations can team up and drive great ideas forward. And while some roles are going away today, we’ll be investing in our business and adding new skill-sets during the year,” he added.

Wal-Mart did not provide any other details about the restructuring effort except to say those displaced in this scale back effort will remain employed by Walmart.com for 60 more days with full benefits and pay including their year-end bonus. If they have not found employment after 60 days they will be given severance packages relevant to the pay and position, the executive said.

Wal-Mart continues to work to shift more jobs toward areas that have the greatest ability to impact customer experience and in the digital world that involves everything from increasing the online inventory beyond the 25 million items now offered to the latest tweak to the mobile app or some other iteration that speeds up ordering or better facilitates search.

Most analysts applaud Wal-Mart for peeling back the layers on its massive organization and examining it for optimal efficiency. An executive with Wal-Mart recently told Talk Business & Politics this is an ongoing process and the number of positions to be eliminated remains somewhat fluid.

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