Senior leadership changes at Walmart and Sam’s Club

Stewart Samuel
Program Director - Canada

Date : 19 January 2020

Walmart has made a series of leadership changes at its US stores and Sam’s Club operations, including appointing a new chief merchandising officer for its core domestic business.

Scott McCall becomes chief merchandising officer

As reported by Talk Business and Politics, Scott McCall is appointed as the retailer’s new chief merchandising officer. Steve Bratspies, who has held the role for the last four years, is leaving the business following a 14-year stint with the retailer. Bratspies was an integral part of the team which has seen Walmart move into a position of strength, helping to reimagine the retailer’s food and general merchandise offers and build an omnichannel business. McCall, who has been at Walmart for 25 years, most recently led the entertainment, toys and seasonal categories.

Source: IGD Research

Dacona Smith fills chief operating officer role

The retailer has also appointed Dacona Smith the position of chief operating officer. This role has been vacant for over two years, since Judith McKenna moved to lead Walmart’s international operations. He moves across from Sam’s Club, where he held the same role. His role at Sam’s Club will be filled by Lance de la Rosa, a 30-year veteran at the company. Sam’s Club also announced that Vinod Bidarkoppa will join the business on February 5 as senior vice president of technology. He joins from United Healthcare Group, where he held the same role. He has also held key technology roles with UK-based Tesco and Future Group in India.

New roles emphasise customer focus

Walmart has also appointed Kelvin Buncum as executive vice president of Neighborhood Markets. He will report into Dacona Smith, along with Todd Harbaugh, executive vice president of Supercenters and and Mark Ibbotson, executive vice president of central operations. The retailer also promoted Latriece Watkins to executive vice president of consumables. Walmart has also created two new roles, falling under Janey Whiteside, chief customer officer. Meng Chee takes up the role of executive vice president position chief product officer, while Alex Kreuger moves across from Sam’s Club as senior vice president of voice of the customer.

Shaping key teams

These changes comes following the appointment of new leaders for Walmart US and Sam’s Club. In November, John Furner became president and CEO, Walmart US, while Kathryn McLay was appointed as president and CEO, Sam’s Club. These appointments enable them to start shaping the senior teams around them and will be critical in helping them execute their strategic plans over the next few years. While we don’t expect any major shifts at Walmart US or Sam’s Club, both leaders will bring new perspectives to their respective businesses.

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