Walmart taps former Amazon exec for new digital role

Walmart has appointed an Amazon veteran to a newly-created position supervising its use of data and technology.

The discount giant has named Nuala O’Connor senior VP and chief counsel of digital citizenship. She will report directly to Rachel Brand, executive VP of global governance, chief legal officer and corporate secretary. The new function will focus on how Walmart uses data and technology in a way that supports the company’s goal to be the most trusted retailer.

O’Connor brings more than 20 years of technology policy and legal leadership experience. She was most recently president and CEO of the global nonprofit Center for Democracy and Technology. Previously, she served as both VP of compliance and customer trust and associate general counsel for privacy and data protection at Amazon, was the chief privacy leader at General Electric, and held both privacy leadership and legal counsel roles at DoubleClick.

O’Connor has also served as the first chief privacy officer at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, as deputy director of the Office of Policy and Strategic Planning, and later as chief counsel for technology at the U.S. Department of Commerce. Nuala began her legal career in private practice at Sidley Austin, Venable, and Hudson Cook, and holds degrees from Princeton University, Harvard University, and Georgetown University Law Center.

“This Digital Citizenship function will counsel the company on issues related to privacy, use of data and data governance, emerging technologies, cybersecurity, and records management,” said Brand. “I can’t think of anyone better than Nuala O’Connor to serve in this new role. She is an internationally recognized expert in technology policy, and her vast experience in data privacy, information governance, and emerging technology issues makes her a perfect fit for this role.”

“Walmart is one of the most important and influential companies in America and around the world,” said O’Connor. “I am thrilled to join the business and look forward to working on responsible digital citizenship as technology transforms the retail industry and the daily lives of our associates, customers, and communities.”
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