Walmart searching for new lead spokesman to replace Greg Hitt

by Kim Souza (ksouza@talkbusiness.net) 503 views 

Greg Hitt, who served as lead spokesman and vice president of global corporate communications at Walmart since June 2015, has left the company to return to employment closer to his home in Northern Virginia.

Hitt exited Walmart at the end of January, according to Randy Hargrove, corporate spokesman for the retail giant. He said Walmart is conducting a search for Hitt’s successor.

“Greg has been a valued counselor to key leaders in our business and he played an essential role in the evolution of our communications team, particularly the media relations function,” Brian Besanceney, Walmart’s senior vice president and chief communications officer, said in a statement. “We certainly have big shoes to fill at Walmart.”

Hitt announced the move on social media, stating he has taken a job as vice president of communications for Richmond, Va.,-based Dominion Energy, which became effective earlier this month. The job change means Hitt will no longer be commuting to Northwest Arkansas from the Washington, D.C. area, where he and his family lived during his time working for Walmart.

Hitt is credited with building strong relationships with journalists and encouraging a professional and collaborative approach to media relations.

Hitt came to Walmart from Hill+Knowlton Strategies, but he spent the bulk of his career in journalism mostly covering politics, congressional issues and international economics for the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Newswires. He told Talk Business & Politics in 2015 his wife, an editor at the Washington Post, would not be relocating to Bentonville and that meant a commute for him.

While at Walmart, Hitt managed a corporate public relations team scattered around the globe. He replaced Brooke Buchanan, who had the role only briefly following the high-profile resignation of Dave Tovar in September 2014. Tovar was forced to resign after the retailer discovered he had lied about receiving an art degree from the University of Delaware.

Tovar had the job for eight years and spent nearly 13 years working for Walmart. He is now the senior vice president of corporate communications for Sprint in Kansas City, Mo. Buchanan, who left Walmart for a similar position at Williams Sonoma, is now senior vice president of communication and government affairs at Whole Foods in Austin, Texas.

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