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Ex-Target exec to assist Walmart with marketing

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BENTONVILLE, Ark. – Walmart confirmed earlier this month that the company’s head of marketing, Stephen Quinn, will be retiring from the company. According to Walmart spokeswoman Deisha Barnett, Quinn will step down on January 31.

In conjunction with the Quinn announcement, Walmart said that it plans to hire former Target Corp. marketing chief Michael Francis as a consultant starting January 1. The company said Francis — who was with Target for nearly 27 years — will begin an overhaul of the Walmart marketing department and will work closely with Quinn’s successor. Walmart currently works with The Martin Agency in its advertising campaigns.

“I’m committed to building on the strength of that brand, and I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity,” Francis ­remarked.

The changes continue a shake-up at Walmart as chief executive officer Doug McMillon seeks to reinvigorate the retailer with an emphasis on e-commerce sales and boosting store efficiency, as well as attracting more affluent shoppers. Walmart’s chief financial officer, Charles Holley, will be retiring at the end of the year, the company announced in October, and Steve Bratspies will become chief merchant.

Quinn, who joined Walmart in 2005 as senior vice president of marketing, has been the chief marketing officer of the world’s biggest retailer since 2007. According to the company, he led Walmart’s rebranding effort in 2008 and was responsible for the tagline “Save money. Live Better.” Quinn also served at PepsiCo as a chief marketing officer for Frito-Lay’s North America Division.

In 2013, after his tenure at Target, Francis joined DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc., where he served as the company’s chief marketing officer. He has also worked at J.C. Penney Co., where he oversaw the retailer’s marketing, merchandising, design and global sourcing. For eight years he served as president of Penney, and he has also been an adviser to Gap Inc. However, he is best known for his time at Target, where he sought partnerships with designers that resulted in the Michael Graves home goods line and limited-edition luxury items from houses such as Missoni. Francis has said that he plans to step down from his role at DreamWorks in December.


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