Walmart Shifts U.S. Operations Chief Amid Supply-Chain Woes


·         Retailer elevates U.S. finance chief Nicholas to COO position

·         Smith is one of Walmart’s highest-ranking Black executives


By Matthew Boyle and Brendan Case, Bloomberg 

October 5, 2021


Walmart Inc. has demoted the chief operating officer of its core U.S. business and installed a finance expert in the role, shuffling its senior leadership team just before the key holiday period.


Dacona Smith, one of the retailer’s highest-ranking Black executives, will shift to become executive vice president and chief operations officer of Walmart’s U.S. stores, unit Chief Executive Officer John Furner told employees. Chris Nicholas, previously finance chief of the U.S. unit, will take over the COO role, according to an Oct. 1 memo that was seen by Bloomberg News.


A company veteran of about 30 years, Smith was elevated to the U.S. COO spot just last year after serving in a range of store management roles. Along with the subtle change in Smith’s title, the shuffling adds an additional layer of management. Smith, who previously reported to Furner, will now report to Nicholas along with several other senior leaders...