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Walmart chief marketer to leave; former Target exec to fill in on interim basis

Walmart U.S. is on the hunt for a new chief marketing officer.

Barbara Messing is stepping down as senior VP and chief marketing officer for Walmart U.S., effective Aug. 30, in order to return to the San Francisco Bay area with her family, reported AdWeek. Messing, who previously served as chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor, joined the retail giant in August 2018.

Michael Francis, the former CMO Target, will lead a newly formed “retail marketing” team on an interim basis, according to the report. Francis, who left Target after some 27 years in 2011, also served as president of J.C. Penney and as chief brand officer of DreamWorks. He has consulted for Walmart since 2015.

Messing’s departure was announced in an internal memo, according to the report. The memo also announced the creation of the new retail marketing team within marketing. Walmart is searching for a new CMO and a new report – a senior VP of Retail Marketing — to lead the new team under the CMO.

Messing, who based at Walmart’s headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas, was Walmart’s third chief marketer in four years. During her time at Walmart, she’s led both memorable and effective creative campaigns that reached our customers in new and unexpected ways,” Janey Whiteside, Walmart’ chief customer officer, wrote in the memo, as reported by AdWeek.

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