Ever since Amazon made online retail the ultimate battleground for modern stores, Walmart has been trying to merge its physical store and online operations. Right now, their finance executives are reshuffling as they merge Jet.com into their online services. The Bentonville company stated in a memo that they would merge the U.S. Finance group into the greater overall finance team. The combined U.S. segment team will be led by Michael Dastugue, the company’s U.S. Finance Chief. The Finance Chief for Sam’s Club, Steve Schmitt, will be the CFO for the e-commerce division.
Schmitt will be succeeding Jeff Shots, who will now run Walmart’s U.S. marketplace business. Schmitt’s position as CFO of Sam’s Club will be taken over by Brandi Joplin, who was the chief accounting officer for Sam’s Club. Walmart’s spokesperson made no comment beyond the memo that informed Walmart employees of these many changes. In the memo’s own words, this shuffling of leadership is designed to “support the business in a more integrated and customer-centric manner.” Walmart announced changes to its supply chain management as well, uniting the heads of fleet operations, grocery, e-commerce, and many other functions.
The combined team will be led by Greg Smith, the Walmart vice president of U.S. supply chain. The memo also specified that Nate Faust, the once head of the e-commerce fulfillment process, will take up an unspecified role within the now reshuffled teams.
Walmart has been trying to combine its physical and online aspects for years now. They stated last month that they would be attempting to fold Jet.com employees into their regular business functions. They paid approximately $3.3 billion to acquire Jet.com back in 2016, which is based in Hoboken, New Jersey.
With Walmart’s relatively fresh e-commerce functions continuing to grow, the company is having some troubles deciding how to allocate their laborers across many new divisions, both online and physical. Greg Melich an Evercore ISI analyst that follows Walmart’s business, stated it best:
“The e-commerce business is reaching the scale of integration on a day-to-day basis with the stores. To run it in silos makes less and less sense.”
Walmart experienced a four year streak of sales growth, including a 3.4% increase U.S. websites and stores that operated at least 12 months during the most recent quarter, which ended in April. However, Walmart shares closed on Friday at $113.90, down 0.7%.
Either way, Walmart is going to be making some pretty large changes to their financial teams. Whether or not it will have the desired effect that Walmart is looking for remains to be seen, following some amount of time in which their new leadership gets a chance to prove themselves.
Full Memo Text credit of CNBC:
Our customers want one, seamless Walmart experience. Over time, we’ve been organizing our strategy, tactics and teams to serve them in that way, while preserving the focus necessary to execute on multiple initiatives in parallel. We will continue strengthening our stores while expanding our pickup and delivery capabilities. Earning more of our customers’ business in food and consumables is foundational to our strategy, and, at the same time, we will expand our ability to serve them with general merchandise in stores and through our broad eCommerce assortment as we continue to invest in and build our eCommerce business. We’re excited to share several next steps on this journey towards seamless omni-channel today.
Bringing the U.S. Supply Chain team together
We’ve decided this is the right time to bring together our Supply Chain teams, and we’ve asked Greg Smith to lead the combined organization, reporting jointly to Greg Foran and Marc Lore.
Greg has demonstrated his leadership ability and his capability to help shape the future of our omni-channel supply chain. Our Supply Chain leadership team will be comprised of:
• Mike Gray – Regional Distribution Network
• Tim Cooper – Grocery Distribution Network
• Alex Krueger – eCommerce Fulfillment Operations
• Monique Picou – Flow, the Fashion, Imports and Reverse Logistics Networks
• Cameron Geiger – Supply Chain Services
• Justen Traweek – Central Operations Supply Chain
• Mike Indresano – eCommerce Transportation
• Tom Shortt – Inventory Management and Strategy eCommerce
• David Guggina – Central Operations eCommerce
• Jeff England – Strategy and Automation
• Ken Braunbach – Inbound Transportation
• Jeff Hammonds – Fleet Operations
Nate Faust has led tremendous eCommerce fulfillment progress these past few years. He has built a strong team, and our customer metrics reflect the tangible improvements they’ve made. We’re on the right trajectory. Nate will support the integration of these teams before moving to a new opportunity we’ve identified, and we’re looking forward to sharing more about that with you soon.
As we bring these teams together, we will also bring the Supply Chain People team together with Kate Vukelich reporting to Steve Miller to support this integration and ultimately the optimization of the collective organization.
Bringing the U.S. Finance team together
To support the business in a more integrated and customer-centric manner, we will be bringing together the Walmart U.S. Finance and the U.S. eCommerce Finance teams. The combined U.S. segment Finance team will be led by Michael Dastugue, Walmart U.S. Chief Financial Officer (CFO), who will continue to report to Brett. Steve Schmitt, currently Sam’s Club CFO, will become the U.S. eCommerce CFO, supporting Marc Lore and his team and reporting to Michael. Steve will remain located in Bentonville. Reporting to Steve will be Fiona Chin, Dino Holmes, Vikas Mehta and Francesca Weissman. Our current eCommerce CFO, Jeff Shotts, is taking on the exciting new opportunity outlined below.
Given Steve’s move and to support the continuing momentum at Sam’s Club, Brandi Joplin, currently Chief Audit Executive, will take on the role of Sam’s Club CFO.
With Brandi’s promotion, Todd Sears, currently Assistant Controller, will be promoted to the role of Chief Audit Executive.
Dialing up the voice of the customer
We created the U.S. customer organization, led by Janey Whiteside, to do an even better job of putting our customers front and center while learning to work in an agile fashion to exceed their expectations. From the start, she has taken an omni-channel approach to the customer experience, reporting to both Marc and Greg. Today, we’re announcing a few additions to her team:
• The Walmart Services and Digital Acceleration team, led by Daniel Eckert, will move over to continue developing new services and experiences for our customers, as well as key cross-functional work on item file and other projects. • The Returns team, led by Linne Fulcher, will join the organization, as a seamless returns process is a critical part of the customer experience.
• The Walmart Media group, led by Stef Jay, will also join the customer group as we build our advertising business in a way that is most aligned to the interests of our customers.
• In addition to these changes, the Customer team will continue to include Barbara Messing and the Marketing team.
• We are also searching to fill open roles for a Chief Experience and Strategy Officer, a Chief Product Officer, and a leader for our Customer Care team.
Continuing our momentum with eCommerce merchandising and marketplace
There are a few areas where we are choosing to maintain some structural separation to enable focus and speed, including our U.S. merchandising organization. Our eCommerce sales growth, improving customer metrics and progress on contribution profit are encouraging, and we want to keep that going. We’ve asked Ashley Buchanan to take on a new responsibility as our Chief Merchandising Officer for U.S. eCommerce. Ashley will report to Marc Lore and be responsible for leading our eCommerce merchants – building our first party merchandise assortment on Walmart.com, Jet, Hayneedle, Moosejaw, Bare Necessities, Shoes.com and Art.com. As we continue to realize greater opportunities for our digital brand portfolio with an omni-channel approach, Andy Dunn and team will also move to Ashley, including Bonobos, ELOQUII, Modcloth and Allswell, along with our new brands incubation team who are working on exciting additions to the omni portfolio.
In addition to Andy, Ashley’s direct reports will include Kieran Shanahan, Denise Incandela, Anthony Soohoo, Jason Schmitt, Phillip Oaks and an open role leading Entertainment. Ashley led a combined club and eCommerce Merchandising team at Sam’s Club, and he will collaborate extensively with Steve Bratspies to build omni-channel foundations for the future and leverage the strengths of both channels. Ashley will continue to be based in Bentonville. We will name a new Chief Merchant for Sam’s Club soon.
We have asked Jeff Shotts, to lead our U.S. marketplace business, reporting to Marc. Reporting to Jeff will be Jeff Clementz, as well as Jaré Buckley-Cox, who will also report into Alex Krueger. Jeff has prior experience building a marketplace business and, given the success of our current marketplace, it’s time to add new capabilities to drive future growth.
We take these steps knowing we will make further adjustments over time as we balance the need for focus and speed with efficiency and leverage. The work so many of you have done over these past few years to strengthen our stores and build an eCommerce business have put us in a strong position that enables us to move forward on this journey. Please join us in congratulating these leaders on their new roles.
Thank you and let’s keep the momentum going!