Walmart creates two new leadership roles for U.S. division

by Kim Souza ([email protected]) 4,621 views 

Walmart has promoted Chris Nicholas to chief operating officer and hired Instacart exec Seth Dallaire as its chief revenue officer for the U.S. business. Dacona Smith will remain chief operations officer and executive vice president after being promoted in early 2020 to that role by U.S. CEO John Furner.

Furner said in a recent social media post Smith will continue to run Walmart’s 4,700 plus U.S. stores. He said Smith will report to Nicholas who will oversee the store operations and supply chain for U.S. stores. Furner said Smith was not demoted and his contributions to the success of Walmart are indisputable.

“In addition to leading our stores through the pandemic and achieving impressive sales growth every quarter, Dacona has led simplification of the work our associates do, transformed our operating model, raised pay for 1.26 million hourly associates the past year, and announced new benefits such as 100% paid college tuition. He’s a champion for e-commerce and digital innovation, and for the well-being of our associates. And he’s a person of integrity who treats everyone he sees fairly and with respect,” Furner said of Smith in the post.

Walmart chose to consolidate the leadership role of stores and supply chain with the exit of Greg Smith in April. Smith served as executive vice president of supply chain at Walmart for four years. Walmart said in April the company was taking the opportunity to reorganize leadership roles in the U.S. division.

Nicholas began his new position at Walmart this month and Daillaire will join Walmart in the coming weeks. Furner has chosen Steve Schmidt, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Walmart U.S. omnichannel, to take over Nicholas’ previous role as chief financial officer for Walmart U.S. Smith will report to Nicholas who will report to Furner. Daillaire will report to Brett Biggs, chief financial officer for Walmart Inc.

Furner said Nicholas will work to transform Walmart’s “end-to-end ways of working and deliver a seamless customer experience.” Nicholas will lead all aspects of supply chain, including strategy, innovation and automation, distribution center and fulfillment center operations, store operations, operations transformation and support, including Walmart’s emerging last-mile delivery capability and real estate, according to Furner.

“Our goal is to do a better job of connecting the dots and flow our inventory in new and more productive ways,” Furner said.

Nicholas has been with Walmart since 2018 and held various roles in the U.S. and international divisions. Before Walmart he spent four year at Australian grocery chain Coles Group. He also worked in retail in Denmark, United Kingdom, Poland and Hungary. Furner said the 20 years Nicholas has spent working in retail is an asset for Walmart including his international exposure working in various leadership retail roles in nine countries.

Dallaire comes to Walmart from Instacart where has spent the past two years as chief revenue officer for the online grocery delivery giant. Prior to Instacart, he worked in advertising and marketing for Amazon for seven years. He also spent more than two years at Yahoo! as vice president of global agencies and accounts and seven years at Microsoft.

Furner said Dallaire will be the chief revenue officer, which is a new position that will include oversight of Walmart Connect, membership of Walmart+, data monetization and business partnerships. He said Dallaire’s responsibilities will be more sharply defined in the days and months ahead. Furner will be accountable for overall revenue and sales for the U.S. division.

Walmart U.S. reported second-quarter sales of $98.19 billion, up 5.3% from the prior-year period. Comparable store sales rose 5.6% and e-commerce sales increased 6% from a year ago.