Wal-Mart outlines key leadership, organizational changes

story by Kim Souza
ksouza@thecitywire.com

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. outlined a long list of leadership and organizational changes for its growing global retail operations. Notice of these changes were given to corporate employees on Thursday (Jan. 9) via a 10-page internal memo, that was also obtained by The City Wire.

“Our customers’ needs are rapidly changing around the world, and they have very high expectations of us. Over the coming years, the global environment we operate in will continue to change and with great speed. So that means our business must evolve quickly so we continue to outpace and exceed our customers’ expectations,”according to the memo from CEO Mike Duke and incoming CEO Doug McMillon.

As McMillon takes the reins from Duke on Feb. 1, more than a dozen other managers and executives will also shift their positions, while Cathy Smith, chief financial officer for Walmart International will exit the company. As previously reported David Cheesewright will become CEO of Walmart International on Feb. 1.

“Cheesewright will continue to have a home in Toronto, and will also maintain a residence in Bentonville. He will be in Bentonville regularly, and will spend time in our markets across the globe,” said Walmart spokesman Kevin Gardener.

A replacement for Cheesewright has yet to be named.

OTHER INTERNATIONAL MOVES
Tony Rogers, senior vice president of marketing for Walmart U.S. has been named chief marketing officer-Walmart China, reporting to Sean Clarke, chief operating officer-Walmart China. In this role, Rogers will be responsible for the marketing of Wal-Mart’s Hypermarket business in China. Additionally, he will work closely with Andrew Miles, chief operating officer-Sam’s Club China and his marketing team to grow the Sam’s Club brand in China while helping to build an even stronger member base.

Rogers joined Wal-Mart in 2005, and since has helped lead the retailer’s U.S. marketing efforts in print, TV, radio and numerous interactive channels. He has a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Texas. Pending work authorization, Rogers will begin work in China Feb. 10.

John Welling, senior vice president for supply chain management, information systems and global business process for Walmart Japan, will move to Canada, assuming the role of SVP of operations for Walmart Canada. Welling will work with the regional operations teams to ensure consistency for all activities that impact Walmart’s stores and customers in Canada. He joined Wal-Mart in 2006 and has a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering and business management from Bradley University in Peoria, Ill. Welling will begin work in Canada March 3, pending work authorization.

With Welling’s move to Canada, Geoff Sease, vice president of replenishment, planning and space for Sam’s Club has been named as Welling’s replacement in Japan as SVP for supply chain management. Sease joined Wal-Mart in 2000 and was promoted to VP of Sam’s Club Logistics and Supply Chain in 2007. He has a bachelor’s degree in economics from North Carolina State University and a master's degree in business administration-logistics from the University of Tennessee. He will begin work in Japan Feb. 10.

FINANCE TEAM SHAKEUP

Brett Biggs, will replace Cathy Smith as chief financial officer for Walmart International as she has accepted a leadership postion elsewhere. Meanwhile, treasurer Jeff Davis will takeover as CFO for Walmart U.S., a position being vacated by Biggs. who is now serving as EVP and chief financial officer for Walmart U.S.

Biggs also will assume responsibility for finance, international real estate, and will continue to report to Charles Holley, chief financial officer for Walmart Stores Inc.

Claire Babineaux-Fontenot has been promoted to treasurer, and will retain the chief tax officer responsibilities while she assumes additional responsibilities for investor relations, capital markets and treasury operations.

Lisa Wadlin, VP of international tax was promoted to VP over global tax and she will report to Fontenot.

Steven Zielske, chief audit executive, will be the new the Senior Vice President, Finance Capital Markets, reporting to Claire.

Stuart Campbell will join Wal-Mart on Feb. 3 as chief audit executive. He joins Wal-Mart from KPMG International, where he recently retired as global chief information officer. He also has served as partner-in-charge of information risk management at KPMG and a general auditor for Wells Fargo & Co. Stuart has a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Southampton, England.

Lori Flees will join Walmart on Jan. 13 as senior vice president of corporate strategy. She leaves Bain & Co, where she was a partner in the consulting firm. Prior to that she held roles at Intel and General Motors.

SAM’S CLUB CHANGES
In 2014, Sam’s Club is being fully integrated with Walmart’s Global eCommerce business unit as Sam’s Club works to deliver personalized shopping experiences that the retailer hopes will spur more growth, according to the memo.

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Jamie Iannone is joining Wal-Mart to lead this effort as the new president and CEO of Samsclub.com, effective immediately. The entire Sam’s Club eCommerce team will report to Iannone, who will be based in San Bruno, Calif., reporting to Neil Ashe, president and CEO of Walmart Global eCommerce, as well as Rosalind Brewer, CEO of Sam’s Club.

John Boswell, SVP of marketing and member insights will leave Sam’s Club in May to lead an international mission for his church. With Bowell’s departure, Racquel Harris is being promoted to SVP for member strategy and marketing for Sam’s Club. She joined the company in 2012 and has nearly 20 years of marketing experience with Kraft Foods and IBM.

Sonya Gafsi Oblisk, senior marketing director for Sam's Club, will succeed Harris as VP of marketing. She joined the company in 2008 working with private brands.

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