Mike Moore, head of Walmart Supercenters, announces retirement

by Kim Souza (ksouza@talkbusiness.net) 6,436 views 

Walmart U.S. CEO Greg Foran announced major changes Friday (Dec. 14) to the company’s operations team.

In an internal memo sent to employees, Foran said Mike Moore, executive vice president in charge of Supercenters, plans to retire, capping 30 years with the retail giant. His departure is effective Jan. 31, 2019, the end of the fiscal year. Foran lauded Moore for his service to the company, saying his impact has been “tremendous.”

“You can look at almost any area of the business and see a way in which Mike has made a difference,” Foran wrote.

Moore ran one of the very first Supercenters for Walmart. He began as an assistant manager in Carthage, Mo and rose to store manager and district manager in Oklahoma and Nebraska. He then led south Texas and south Florida stores as regional vice president of operations for the west division.

Moore was also on the team that helped Walmart launch its Neighborhood Market concept 25 years ago. He then worked to expand the format from a few dozen to more than 700 in recent years. Moore also worked in helping stores adopt technology, from customer-facing apps to those used by store employees. His also helped develop online grocery, pickup towers and easy returns, Foran noted.

“A good deal of what we lose with Mike is irreplaceable,” Foran wrote in the announcement. “He learned retail alongside legends. He worked and toured stores with people like Mike Duke, David Glass, Tom Coughlin, Jack Shewmaker, and above all, Sam Walton.”

Foran said because Moore has been a dedicated teacher and mentor, much of his wisdom will remain with the company for generations, through the hundreds of employees he’s worked with over the years. Moore also won the coveted Sam M. Walton Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2005. He ran the central region for Walmart and worked as senior vice president of merchandising over several categories including automotive, sporting goods and hardware.

“He leaves behind a tremendous legacy,” Foran wrote. “There hasn’t been a YBM (year beginning meeting) or holiday meeting where I have been on the floor with Mike and associates haven’t come up to him — one after another — to thank him for the impact he’s had on their careers.”

Todd Harbaugh

Walmart has chosen Todd Harbaugh as Moore’s successor. Harbaugh has logged 28 years with the retail giant. He has worked at Sam’s Club as chief operations officer and also spent time in Mexico leading Sam’s Club there. He was chief operations officer of Walmart Mexico before returning to the U.S. to lead Neighborhood Markets.

Foran said Walmart’s fuel team will also continue reporting to Harbaugh in his new role.

“Todd’s experience will make him a strong leader of the supercenter business,” Foran said.

Supply chain executive Kathryn McLay will backfill the vacancy left by Harbaugh and her new title will be executive vice president of Neighborhood Markets for Walmart U.S. She has been with Walmart for four years and has led a number of strategic initiatives within the supply chain including On Time In Full (OTIF), import distribution centers and return centers.

“She has done an outstanding job in each of those areas,” Foran wrote. “Prior to that, she was an integral part of the supply chain replenishment functions and audit for Woolworth’s in Australia. Kath’s experience and long track record of success make her a great addition to the U.S. leadership team. She will begin her new role on Feb. 1.”

Foran asked employees to join him in wishing Moore well as he begins a new chapter and congratulated

Kathryn McLay

Harbaugh and McLay on their new roles within the organization.

This type of organizational change isn’t uncommon each year at Walmart. There are routine retirements as well as restructuring initiatives from time to time as the retailer searches for efficiencies from top to bottom.

In an interview with Talk Business & Politics on Friday, retired Walmart executive Andy Wilson said Walmart is well-suited for executive transitions, with a rich pipeline of talented leaders.

He said the deep bench comes from the retailer seeking out high-potential employees and then placing them in various readiness roles. He said Moore and Harbaugh went through the same type of readiness program he did years ago.

“I have known Mike since he first showed up at Walmart as an assistant manager,” Wilson said. “Everywhere he has worked throughout the Walmart pipeline he’s made an impact. There is not a finer individual or anyone with higher integrity than Mike Moore. I wish him the best as his moves on to the next phase of his life.”

Wilson said Harbaugh is also a distinguished leader who has paid his dues through hard work and was willing to relocate internationally when asked by Walmart to be part of the readiness program.

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