Walmart CEO makes personnel moves, seeks to ‘balance the need for focus and speed’

by Kim Souza (ksouza@talkbusiness.net) 5,441 views 

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon on Friday (July 19) announced several organizational and management changes. While there are several executives shifting positions, Walmart said the changes do not involve anyone exiting or entering the company.

“Our customers want one, seamless Walmart experience. Over time, we’ve been organizing our strategy, tactics and teams to serve them in that way, while preserving the focus necessary to execute on multiple initiatives in parallel,” McMillon noted in the opening of his memo. “We will continue strengthening our stores while expanding our pickup and delivery capabilities. Earning more of our customers’ business in food and consumables is foundational to our strategy, and, at the same time, we will expand our ability to serve them with general merchandise in stores and through our broad eCommerce assortment as we continue to invest in and build our eCommerce business.”

Walmart is consolidating its supply chain teams for stores and e-commerce and selected Greg Smith to lead the combined organization. Smith has been over supply chain for stores. This change will add to those responsibilities. Smith’s supply chain leadership team will include:
• Mike Gray – Regional Distribution Network
• Tim Cooper – Grocery Distribution Network
• Alex Krueger – eCommerce Fulfillment Operations
• Monique Picou – Flow, the Fashion, Imports/Reverse Logistics Networks
• Cameron Geiger – Supply Chain Services
• Justen Traweek – Central Operations Supply Chain
• Mike Indresano – eCommerce Transportation
• Tom Shortt – Inventory Management and Strategy eCommerce
• David Guggina – Central Operations eCommerce
• Jeff England – Strategy and Automation
• Ken Braunbach – Inbound Transportation
• Jeff Hammonds – Fleet Operation

Nate Faust who has “led tremendous eCommerce fulfillment progress these past few years” will support the integration of the teams, the memo stated.

“As we bring these teams together, we will also bring the Supply Chain People team together with Kate Vukelich reporting to Steve Miller to support this integration and ultimately the optimization of the collective organization,” McMillon noted.

Walmart is also making changes in its finance division by bringing together teams from U.S. stores and online commerce. This combined unit will be led by Michael Dastugue, chief financial officer for Walmart U.S. He will report to Brett Biggs, CFO for Walmart Inc.

Steve Schmitt, Sam’s Club CFO, will become the U.S. eCommerce CFO, supporting Marc Lore and his team and reporting to Dastugue. Schmitt will remain in Bentonville. Reporting to Schmitt will be Fiona Chin, Dino Holmes, Vikas Mehta and Francesca Weissman. Brandi Joplin will assume the role of Sam’s Club CFO. Todd Sears, is being promoted to chief audit officer for Sam’s Club that Joplin is exiting.

Walmart is shaking up the customer strategy team led by Janey Whiteside to serve customers better while also operating in a nimble fashion, the release notes. Whiteside reports to Lore and Foran and her new team additions include: the Walmart Services and Digital Acceleration team, led by Daniel Eckert; the Returns team, led by Linne Fulcher; and the Walmart Media group, led by Stef Jay.

Walmart said the customer team will include Barbara Messing and the marketing team. Walmart is also searching to fill open roles for a chief experience and strategy officer, a chief product officer and a leader for its customer team.

Walmart is also making several changes in its merchandising structure that should enable focus and speed, and the company has decided to keep stores and eCommerce merchandising separate, despite other groups like supply change being merged.

“Our eCommerce sales growth, improving customer metrics and progress on contribution profit are encouraging, and we want to keep that going. We’ve asked Ashley Buchanan to take on a new responsibility as our chief merchandising officer for U.S. eCommerce. Buchanan will report to Marc Lore and be responsible for leading our eCommerce merchants – building our first-party merchandise assortment on Walmart.com, Jet, Hayneedle, Moosejaw, Bare Necessities, Shoes.com and Art.com.

“As we continue to realize greater opportunities for our digital brand portfolio with an omnichannel approach, Andy Dunn and the team will also move to Ashley, including Bonobos, ELOQUII, Modcloth and Allswell, along with our new brands incubation team who are working on exciting additions to the omni portfolio,” McMillon noted.

In addition to Dunn, Buchanan’s direct reports will include Kieran Shanahan, Denise Incandela, Anthony Soohoo, Jason Schmitt, Phillip Oaks and an open role leading Entertainment. Buchanan most recently led a combined club and eCommerce merchandising team at Sam’s Club, and he will collaborate with Steve Bratspies, chief merchandising officer at Walmart U.S., to “leverage the strengths of both channels.” Buchanan will continue to be based in Bentonville. Walmart plans to soon name a new chief merchant for Sam’s Club.

Walmart eCommerce CFO Jeff Shotts will lead the U.S. marketplace business, reporting to Lore. Reporting to Shotts will be Jeff Clementz and Jaré Buckley-Cox, who will also report to Alex Krueger.

McMillon closed the memo saying the changes are made with the knowledge more adjustments will be likely as the company balances the need for focus and speed with efficiency and leverage.

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