Walmart U.S. restructures central operations division
by Kim Souza, Talk Business & Politics (AR)
Feb 5, 2020
John Furner, CEO of Walmart U.S., announced several management changes in an internal memo issued this past Friday (Jan. 28) including the departure of Mark Ibbotson, executive vice president for central operations and real estate.
Ibbotson has been involved in the transformation of Walmart’s U.S. business over the past five years. He joined Walmart in 2004 through its Asda grocery business in the United Kingdom, where he worked in senior roles including chief operations officer until 2015 when he moved to the U.S.
“Mark has been an important part of the transformation of the U.S. business, helping simplify work for associates and digitize our operations. He helped launch Academies to invest in our associates and online grocery shopping to create a great experience for our customers – both of which have helped position us well for the future,” Furner noted in the email provided by Walmart to Talk Business & Politics.
Furner said he plans to shift some of the duties from central operations to a newly created product team that will report to Chief Customer Officer Janey Whiteside.
“We are standing up this product team – to be led by Meng Chee, EVP and Chief Product Officer – to design great technology products and customer and associate experiences with the end-user in mind. These Central Operations teams have made strong progress with store innovation, associate-facing technology and the rollout of online grocery pickup and delivery, and we want to see that work accelerate by seamlessly integrating our associate and customer experiences,” Furner stated in the memo.
Furner said Tom Ward, senior vice president of customer product innovation, will move to the new team and focus on omnichannel innovation for customers. Ward also joined Walmart through Asda and worked with Ibbotson in the U.S. for the past four years. John Crecelius, senior vice president of associate product innovation, will also be part of the new team focusing on store process improvements.
Furner said new Chief Operating Officer Dacona Smith will oversee store operations as Todd Harbaugh, head of Supercenters, and Kevin Buncum, head of Neighborhood Markets, will report to him. Joe Schrauder, vice president of asset protection and safety, will also report to Smith.