Walmart’s chief technology officer Jeremy King exiting the company

by Kim Souza (ksouza@talkbusiness.net) 1,500 views 

Walmart ATX, the 8,000-square-foot renovated warehouse in downtown Austin, Texas, opened in December as one of two technology hubs to innovate with the retailer’s larger technology labs in Sunnyvale, Calif., and Bentonville.

Jeremy King, chief technology officer at Walmart, is leaving the retail giant effective March 29, according to an internal email sent Wednesday (March 20) by U.S. CEO Greg Foran and U.S. eCommerce CEO Marc Lore.

Walmart has appointed Fiona Tan, senior vice-president of customer technology at Walmart Labs, to handle King’s responsibilities in the interim until a replacement can be found, according to the memo which Talk Business & Politics obtained from Walmart.

King has logged more than seven years at Walmart where he helped lead the transformation of the retail giant’s e-commerce technology division. At the executive vice president level, King oversaw WalmartLabs and the customer technology, merchant technology and supply chain technology that covers all Walmart U.S. stores and eCommerce – including a global presence in cloud and data platforms.

Walmart said King would be moving to another non-competing company which would be announced in the next few days.

The memo said King has been crucial to the ongoing transformation for Walmart into a tech company. During his first few years at Walmart, King built out an engineering and product organization focused on reimagining the platform for its eCommerce engine, while also leading Walmart Labs through more than 10 acquisitions, the opening of four new tech offices and establishing the organization as a user of, and contributor to, the open source community. The operational decisions made during that time were key to the success of Walmart’s technology team and led to more agile ways of working, transparent tool sets, product-focused roadmaps and a robust patent program, the memo said.

Foran and Lore also noted in the memo that King’s role expanded in the past couple of years to bring more technology into more than 4,700 Walmart stores.

“He encouraged true omnichannel thinking and created a unified team of technologists, each focused on one customer. During Jeremy’s tenure, we created important technology partnerships with Microsoft, Google, NVIDIA and others that will help carry our digital transformation well into the future,” the memo stated.

Jeremy King, chief technology officer at Walmart.

King is also credited with forging relationships with Girls Who Code, Path Forward and Grace Harper to foster more diversity and inclusion in the technology sector.

“While Jeremy will be missed, he leaves us with an outstanding leadership team and the organization well-positioned to advance Walmart’s strategic priorities seamlessly and with excellence. We wish him the best in the next phase of his journey, “ the memo states.

Walmart said Tan is a strong leader with comprehensive knowledge of Walmart’s technology stack. During the transition, all of King’s direct reports will continue to lead their teams and report directly to Lore and Foran.

Though King was based in San Jose, Calif., he oversaw 7,500 people working at WalmartLabs in Bentonville and across the globe. In January, King said WalmartLabs was recruiting for 2,000 more technology jobs this year across its nine tech centers: San Bruno, Sunnyvale, Carlsbad, Calif., Hoboken, N.J., Portland, Ore.; Reston, Va.; Dublin, Ireland; and Bangalore, India.

King is the third executive vice president to announce a departure from Walmart in recent weeks as Gisel Ruiz is retiring as the chief operating officer from Sam’s Club on April 14, and Jacqui Canney is leaving her post as the chief people officer on June 15 to join advertising firm WPP.

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