BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart has revamped its merchandising organization and leadership in the second major change since Bill Simon was named president and chief executive officer of Walmart U.S. in late June.
Walmart has revamped its merchandising organization and leadership in the second major change since Bill Simon was named president and chief executive officer of Walmart U.S. in late June.
The retailer has created four core merchandising areas, each consisting of similar categories.
Each merchandising area is headed by an executive vice president, two of whom are incumbents and two of whom have been promoted. John Westling continues as Walmart’s exec VP of general merchandise and replenishment, a post he assumed in July right after Simon’s appointment. Similarly, Jack Sinclair remains exec VP of food.
The new appointments are Duncan Mac Naughton, who has been promoted to exec VP of consumables, health and wellness, and Walmart.com, and Andy Barron, who has been elevated to exec VP of softlines. Mac Naughton joined Walmart Canada as chief merchandising officer after serving as exec VP of merchandising and marketing at Supervalu Inc.
Barron had been senior vice president of store merchandise execution and is described in an internal memo as “a star merchant for many years,” having been named general merchandise manager of the year.
"These four veteran merchants and their teams know how to create excitement in our merchandise mix," Simon wrote in a memo to all Walmart U.S. associates. "They have a passion for merchandising and growing sales. For now, they will report to me, allowing me to stay close as they thoughtfully look at our merchandising opportunities."
Within the four merchandising areas, several additional appointments were announced. In the consumables and health and wellness segment, Scott Huff was named senior VP of consumables, while John Agwunobi remains president and senior VP of health and wellness. Scott McCall is senior VP of health and wellness merchandising, reporting to Agwunobi, while senior VP Steve Nave heads Walmart.com.
Reporting to Sinclair in the food area is Steve Breen, promoted to senior VP of snack and drinks. Prior to joining Walmart in 2007, Breen served in Abbott Laboratories’ nutrition division and held brand management positions at Procter & Gamble Co. In addition, Pam Kohn is senior VP in charge of a newly consolidated food and consumables global merchandising center (GMC), while Steve Bratspies, senior VP of dry grocery; DeDe Priest, senior VP of fresh; and Santiago Roces, senior VP of grocery small formats, all report to Sinclair.
Within Westling’s hard lines area, Laura Phillips has been promoted to senior VP of toys, seasonal and network seasonal planning, while Seong Ohm, who has been senior VP of general merchandise for Walmart’s Seiyu unit in Japan, returns to Bentonville to take over the home, hard lines and entertainment GMC. Other senior VPs reporting to Westling are Mike Moore in hard lines, Gary Severson in entertainment and Jerry Spencer in replenishment.
The soft lines area now features Karen Stuckey, senior VP of home; Lisa Rhodes, senior VP of apparel; and Anne Marie Kehoe, VP of planning pricing and modular development. Senior VP Mary Fox continues to direct the apparel GMC. Michelle Gloeckler has been promoted to senior VP of merchandise execution, reporting to Barron.
"The team is in place," Simon stated. "It’s time to deliver for our customers. With the holidays approaching fast, we are ready."