Two weeks after Wal-Mart Stores Inc. chose Doug McMillon to be the next CEO beginning Feb. 1, the retail giant has tagged David Cheesewright as president and CEO of the Walmart International, the position now held by McMillon.
Cheesewright was the name most mentioned to succeed McMillon given his global resume that spans 25 years of international retail management expertise. The 51-year-old Cheesewright oversaw the acquisition of Massmart and managing the retailer’s aggressive growth strategies in Canada and the United Kingdom since 2011.
"David will lead the division at an exciting time," said McMillon. "We have strengthened our business and gained market share in the majority of our international markets, and he had a key role in that success.”
Wal-Mart's international division represents a major growth segment for the retailer. It has more than 6,200 retail units and generates nearly 30% of its revenue. During the third quarter, Walmart International's net sales grew 4.1% on a constant currency basis. This outstripped the U.S. division's net sales growth, which rose 2.4% during the period.
In recent years, much of the retailer’s revenue growth has come from its international division as same-store sales in the U.S. segment have fallen into a flat to 2% range which analysts expects will continue.
McMillon noted in the release that Cheesewright’s wealth of experience and proven track record of innovation and governance were key to this promotion. After joining the company in 1999 and working at Asda, its U.K. operation, Cheesewright rose through the ranks, serving as the chief operating officer for Walmart Canada and Asda. Before that, he was in a leadership role with Mars Confectionery.
“With his deep knowledge of the company, our customers, and our purpose, he is the ideal person to steer our next chapter of continued, long-term growth,” McMillon said.
He helped develop and expand Asda's online grocery delivery program and serves on the board of Walmart's China e-commerce business, Yihaodian.
"I'm honored to be named to lead our international business at a time when our customers around the world need us more than ever," said Cheesewright.
"Through strong capital discipline, we will continue to invest in new stores and e-commerce growth, as well as productivity improvements that drive profitable growth and returns."
Wal-Mart said it will name a replacement for Cheesewright in the next few weeks.