Inside This Issue - News
Walmart tabs global president
January 13th, 2014
BENTONVILLE, Ark. – Walmart has named company veteran David Cheesewright president and chief executive officer of Walmart International.
The 51-year-old Cheesewright succeeds Doug McMillon, who will become Walmart president and CEO. Both assume their new posts on February 1.
Walmart says it has yet to name a replacement for Cheesewright as head of the company’s Europe, Middle East and Africa and Canada divisions.
"David will lead the division at an exciting time," McMillon says. "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.
"He brings a wealth of experience and a proven track record of innovation and governance," he says. "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. David’s passion for sustainability will drive change that will help improve our world."
Cheeswright, who began his Walmart career in 1999 with Asda Group PLC, says he looks forward to his new role.
"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," he says. "A tremendous opportunity lies ahead for our company. Our success is dependent on our associates, and I’m committed to investing in them.
"Together we will find innovative and sustainable ways to serve our customers and provide them with the quality, affordable products they expect from us," he says. "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."
After serving in a variety of roles in operations, merchandising, logistics, strategy and format development with Asda, Cheesewright became chief operating officer for both Walmart Canada and Asda before being named CEO of Walmart Canada.
In that position he oversaw the growth of the company’s business north of the border, including spearheading the rollout of Walmart’s Supercenter format to the Canadian market and expanding the company’s e-commerce capabilities.
In 2011 Cheesewright was named president and CEO of the Europe, Middle East and Africa and Canada units, where he oversaw the integration of the Massmart acquisition in Sub-Saharan Africa and more aggressive growth in the United Kingdom through the assimilation of Dansk Supermarked A/S’s Netto Foodstores Ltd. stores that Asda acquired a year earlier.
Cheesewright is also credited with helping to develop and expand Asda’s online grocery delivery program.
Before his career with Walmart, Cheesewright was an executive at the U.K. division of Mars Inc.
Analysts say that Cheesewright’s elevation to head of Walmart’s international business could make him a top contender in the succession plan to follow McMillon.
Both McMillon and outgoing CEO Mike Duke were in charge of the company’s international segment before being picked to become Walmart CEO.
Joe Feldman, a senior retail analyst at Telsey Advisory Group, recently told the cable television channel CNBN that the move puts Cheesewright in the running with Walmart U.S. CEO Bill Simon to eventually replace McMillon.
"The last couple of CEOs have come from being heads of the main divisions," he said. "I guess that puts Cheesewright in contention, assuming he does well."
However, Feldman and others stress, McMillon is only 47 and is not expected to depart anytime soon.