Walmart’s marketing division realignment continues

by Kim Souza ([email protected]) 5,797 views 

Walmart continues to make personnel changes as the retailer’s new fiscal year gets underway. The latest realignment is taking place in the company’s vast marketing division, headed up by chief customer officer Janey Whiteside.

Whiteside announced Rich Lehrfeld, senior vice president of brand marketing, media and creative, will serve as the retailer’s interim chief marketing officer. Barbara Messing, the retailer’s previous chief marketing officer, left Walmart this past summer.

“For the last number of months, he [Lehrfeld] has made a big difference focusing on how we bring the team together, drive the business and advance Walmart’s creative execution and reputation,” Whiteside noted in an internal memo dated Jan. 31, and obtained by Talk Business & Politics on Wednesday (Feb. 12). “We’ll continue to search for our new chief marketing officer and appreciate Rich’s leadership.”

Whiteside said over the past year, the company has worked to organize the marketing team to serve the changing needs of the company’s business and effectively reach customers in “organic yet unexpected ways.”

“We’re continuing that journey with additional changes. With Rich serving as interim CMO, each of the teams below and across marketing will now report to him,” the memo said.

Whiteside said Saleel Sathe will be joining Walmart as vice president of performance marketing. He will be responsible for the overall management and growth of performance marketing platforms and channels.

Sathe comes to Walmart from Uber, where he served as head of marketing technology. Prior to Uber, Sathe held roles with eBay, Skype and Microsoft. He is based in Walmart’s Bay Area offices and his first day was Feb. 3.

Reporting to Sathe are:

  • Tom Tang – Advanced Analytics
  • Matthew Kennedy – Search
  • Andrew Floyd – Display and Paid Social
  • Mark Smith – CRM Email / Push
  • Tony Ralph – Marketing Product Management

Whiteside said Joon Soo Kim, who has held the interim leadership of the performance marketing team, will now shift to his official role leading omni-strategy, planning and marketing operations.

Whiteside said Michael Francis has been “an incredible partner” in leading Walmart’s newly formed retail marketing team as a consultant since August. With the retail marketing team now reporting to Lehrfeld, Francis will continue to serve as a consultant helping with strategy and projects across the organization.

David Echegoyen currently oversees marketing for grocery, pickup & delivery, services and digital acceleration. He will now add marketing for consumables to his responsibility with Ciara Anfield’s previous direct reports now reporting to him.

Anfield will lead Walmart’s seasonal and cross-category marketing efforts. Jennifer Sheets, Victoria Hillman and their teams will now report to Anfield.

Brittney Duke and Karissa Price will continue to lead the company’s general merchandise and health and wellness marketing efforts, respectively.

Alvis Washington will focus his efforts on the in-store experience and will become part of the brand, media & creative team under Lehrfeld. Allison Ool, Steve Rogers and Melissa Perry will continue to report to Washington.

“I know that there has been a lot of change, but I truly believe it’s leading us to be the best organization we can be,” Whiteside wrote in the memo. “Rich is an incredible leader. Please help me thank him for stepping up to move the team forward and help me welcome Saleel to the Walmart family.”