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Wal-Mart’s e-commerce shift brings executive changes

November 3, 2016 04:12 PM
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At least three e-commerce executives have left Wal-Mart Stores Inc. as the retail chain pursues faster online sales growth.

A Wal-Mart spokesman confirms that Fernando Madeira, president and CEO of Walmart.com; Dianne Mills, senior vice president of people for Wal-Mart e-commerce; and Brent Beabout, senior vice president of e-commerce supply chain, have exited. The Wall Street Journal first reported the departures and that Jet.com co-founder Nate Faust will replace Beabout.

The spokesman says Madeira, Mills, and Beabout’s departures occurred separately over the past couple of months, though each executive’s LinkedIn profile has Wal-Mart listed as his and her current job. The changes come as Jet co-founder and CEO Marc Lore takes over as Wal-Mart’s president and CEO of e-commerce.

“Everyone has their own reasons for leaving, but at a high level many people felt it was a good time to transition out given we've built the core foundation for e-commerce at Wal-Mart,” the spokesman says.

Wal-Mart, No. 4 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500 Guide, bought online marketplace Jet for $3.3 billion in August. As part of the acquisition, the company said Lore would take over e-commerce at Wal-Mart, replacing Neil Ashe, who will leave the company at the end of this fiscal year.

Wal-Mart CEO Doug McMillon has said Wal-Mart may benefit from Jet’s variable pricing model, which allows shoppers to save money on purchases by opting for slower shipping times or choosing not to be able to return items.

Some analysts see the Wal-Mart and Jet combination as a positive step. “We believe Wal-Mart will benefit from Jet.com's complementary customer base (urban/millennials), access to premium brands, innovative technology solutions (dynamic basket building/pricing model) and experienced leadership team,” Peter Benedict, managing director of equity research at Baird, wrote in October.

 

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