Retail News Breaks Archives
Walmart names new e-commerce head
January 17th, 2012
SAN BRUNO, Calif. – Walmart has appointed a former CBS executive to head its growing global e-commerce business.
Neil Ashe, who most recently was president of CBS Interactive, replaces vice chairman Eduardo Castro-Wright, who will assist with the leadership transition and retire in September.
At CBS Interactive, which is based in San Francisco, Ashe directed all of the network’s online properties and was responsible for developing new ways to distribute programming produced by CBS and its subsidiaries. Websites in Ashe’s portfolio included CBS.com, CNET.com, CBSNews.com and CBSSports.com, with operations in Europe and China as well as the United States.
Before moving to CBS Interactive, Ashe was chief executive officer of CNET Networks, best known for technology-related information, product reviews and price comparisons. He oversaw the dramatic growth of CNET’s China division, developing it from a small magazine and events operator into a rapidly growing and highly profitable online business. During Ashe’s tenure CNET Networks’ value soared to $1.8 billion from $100 million.
After leading the successful integration of CNET Networks with CBS, Ashe and his team increased the online distribution of CBS entertainment content, making CBS.com the biggest television network site in the industry. His hiring by Walmart signals that the retailer is placing new focus and emphasis on its e-commerce arm.
"E-commerce is a great opportunity for us, and we have a long-term vision to win," said Mike Duke, Walmart’s president and chief executive officer. "We are on track to create the next generation of e-commerce, combining the latest in online innovations with physical stores to give our customers a unique and seamless shopping experience."
Duke further pointed out that the world’s largest retailer has a network of more than 10,000 stores serving 200 million weekly shoppers worldwide, and already operates successful online businesses in the United Kingdom, Canada and Brazil in addition to the U.S. The company also has, he said, an understanding of what its customers want as well as the ability to make significant investments in talent and technology.
"With his strong personal leadership skills, financial background and experience in successfully working within a major corporation to lead its Internet division, Neil is the ideal leader to help us build this business," Duke added. "He has led companies through all stages of growth and maturity. He also has a deep understanding of the interactive space and how to attract and convert online customers. Perhaps most importantly, much of Neil’s professional success has come through close collaboration and shared goals with his peers — a key attribute as we continue to integrate our online businesses across the company and with our physical stores."