Wal-Mart Stores Inc. on Wednesday promoted Doug McMillon to oversee the company’s second largest operating segment, Wal-Mart International, as president and chief executive officer.
McMillon, currently president and ceo of Sam’s Club, will replace and report to Mike Duke, who has been named to succeed H. Lee Scott as the company’s president and ceo. Duke and McMillon will assume their new roles Feb. 1.
McMillon, a consummate Wal-Mart insider, is expected to continue the international division’s strategy of focusing on emerging markets with growth potential, as well as established markets that can deliver strong returns.
In February, McMillon will go from overseeing a $40 billion warehouse chain to running a complex $100 billion division with businesses in countries such as Mexico, Brazil, China, Japan and the U.K. “I hope he’s a fast learner,” said Walter Loeb, president of Loeb Associates. “He was a fast learner at Sam’s Club. He has a great chance of making his mark in a division that’s probably going to overshadow the growth of the domestic division. Doug did a super job in revitalizing Sam’s Club. It shows his ability to manage people and ignite momentum in a division.”
“It appears they’re grooming [McMillon] for additional responsibility within the organization,” said Bill Dreher, a retail analyst at Deutsche Bank. “He’s a rising star in the organization. He’s done a fine job at Sam’s, but Sam’s is not the growth vehicle going forward. International is the growth vehicle.”
“[McMillon’s] had experience with the core Wal-Mart brand and with Sam’s Club. This will round him out and groom him to become a ceo candidate someday,” said Joseph Feldman, retail analyst with Telsey Advisory Group. Feldman wasn’t concerned about McMillon’s lack of experience on the international front. “One big thing Wal-Mart has learned is that you really need local management on the ground running the businesses. He’ll continue to go after emerging markets. We’re not going to see Wal-Mart going after other established European nations on the continent.”
Duke cleaned house at international when, in 2006, Wal-Mart exited Germany and sold its ailing retail business to Metro AG, the same year it shed its South Korean operation. While Wal-Mart has been keen on entering Russia — the retailer in May said it had appointed an executive to explore opportunities there — political instability in the region may hamper any immediate efforts.
“[Duke] established a platform and a mandate that Doug can follow,” said one retail consultant, who requested anonymity. “McMillon will be a good soldier.”
McMillon’s career trajectory is similar to that of Scott’s. McMillon started as an hourly associate, unloading trucks at a distribution center while working his way through college. Scott rose through the ranks of the logistics operations, joining Wal-Mart as an assistant director of transportation.
“In his 18 years with the company, Doug has learned the business from the bottom up, with leadership roles in all three operating divisions,” said Duke, adding McMillon will continue to grow the international portfolio, export the Wal-Mart culture and leverage global strengths in markets where the retailer operates. “He demonstrates the company’s culture and values every day.”
“Today, it would look like he [McMillon] may be the guy” to eventually hold the Wal-Mart Stores Inc. ceo position, Feldman said. “It’s likely that Eduardo Castro Wright [vice chairman] will get the job before McMillon would. Presumably it will be Duke in place for five or 10 years, Eduardo and then McMillon.”
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast