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Walmart reshuffles merchandising roles


A series of merchandising and marketing moves announced at Walmart created several new positions and aligned the organization in four core areas of general merchandise and replenishment; food, softlines and consumables; health and wellness; and, according to an internal announcement.

The changes follow the departure two months ago of former chief merchandising officer John Fleming and the reassignment of former Walmart U.S. president and CEO Eduardo Castro-Wright to a diminished role in global sourcing amid sagging sales at the U.S. stores division. COO Bill Simon assumed the president and CEO role although a new chief merchant has yet to be named.

John Westling will remain in his roles as EVP general merchandise and replenishment with Laura Philips and Mark Samuels filling new positions. Phillips was named SVP toys, seasonal and network planning after previously serving as VP/DMM toys. Samuels was name VP planning, pricing and modular development. In another move, former Sam’s Club merchant Seong Ohm, who left briefly for a stint at Seiyu in Japan, was named SVP of the home, hardlines and entertainment global merchandising center. Philips, Samuels and Ohm all report to Westling.

Jack Sinclair remains in his role as EVP food, with Steve Breen and Bruce Nelson promoted to new roles. Breen was named SVP snacks and drinks, and Nelson was named VP planning, pricing and modular development. All fresh and packaged grocery has been consolidated under the leadership of Pam Kohn, who will serve as SVP of the global food and consumables global merchandise center.

The softlines area will be led by Andy Barron, who was promoted EVP after previously serving SVP store merchandise execution. Reporting to Barron in new roles are Anne Marie Kehoe, VP planning, pricing and modular development and Michelle Gloeckler as SVP merchandise execution.

Duncan MacNaughton was named EVP consumable, health and wellness and after previously serving as chief merchandising officer for Walmart Canada. Scott Huff will serve as SVP consumables, and John Agwunobi will serve as president and SVP health and wellness, with Scott McCall filling the role of SVP health and wellness merchandising. The new position of senior director of planning, pricing and modular development was filled by Phillip Freehling.

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