Will blending online/offline roles improve the Walmart customer experience?
In a move designed to give its technology group oversight of the entire customer experience, Walmart on Friday announced several changes that integrate the running of its online and offline businesses.
Among the changes:
- Jeremy King, previously chief technology officer of Walmart’s e-commerce operation in the U.S., will oversee technology teams for Walmart’s physical stores in addition to its online stores;
- Tony Rogers, previously chief marketing officer for Walmart U.S. stores, will also head up marketing for Walmart.com and Jet.com;
- Jordan Sweetnam, formerly VP of global product for Walmart e-commerce, becomes VP of customer experience, product. He will be focusing on products, shoppers, and faster execution;
- Nate Faust, COO at Jet.com, becomes SVP for U.S. e-commerce and supply chain for Walmart U.S.;
- Seth Beal, previously SVP, global marketplace and digital store operations for Walmart e-commerce, assumes a new role as SVP, incubation and strategic partnerships, focusing on developing new technologies and ideas to better serve Walmart customers.
Clay Johnson, former CIO at GE Power, also joined Walmart in the newly created role of enterprise chief information officer and will oversee a new business division, Global Business Services. The division combines cybersecurity, back-office solutions and global shared services groups. Mr. Johnson succeeds CIO Karenann Terrell, who is leaving in February.
Also announced was the departure of Michael Bender, the e-commerce division’s chief operating officer.
“We were starting to see our stores and e-commerce teams solving many of the same problems and now we can remove what might’ve become more duplication in the future,” Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said in a memo to employees.
“I know change isn’t always easy,” he added. “But I’m certain our future success is partially dependent on becoming more of a technology company in our stores and clubs and everywhere else the customer sees us.”
The changes mark the second time Walmart’s e-commerce team has been overhauled since the company acquired Jet.com in August and appointed its co-founder, Marc Lore, to the position of e-commerce chief.
“These changes continue to show Lore is putting his stamp on the business,” Brian Yarbrough, at Edward Jones, told Fortune. “It remains to be seen how effective this will be.”’
- To take on Amazon, Walmart is streamlining its retail and web teams – Re/code
- Walmart’s Leadership Expands Executive Roles In Online Push – Fortune
- Jet.com founder shakes up Wal-Mart staff – CNBC
- Wal-Mart to Shake Up Online Team, Cut Prices in Amazon Fight – Bloomberg
- Wal-Mart shakes up tech leadership – Arkansas Online
- Wal-Mart Names GE Power’s Clay Johnson CIO, Creates Global Business Services Group – The Wall Street Journal
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you see more pros than cons in retailers combining oversight of their store and online operations? Is this the right strategy for Walmart at this point?