Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is shaking up its e-commerce department after the resignation of its two top leaders.
Raul Vazquez, executive vice president of global e-commerce for developed markets, and Steve Nave, senior vice president and general manager of walmart.com, have left the company. An internal memo provided to WWD by Wal-Mart said, “Digital commerce is more important than ever to the future growth and success of our company.” E-commerce is said to be increasing even among Wal-Mart’s lower-income core customers.
With the departures, Wal-Mart is taking the opportunity to restructure the global e-commerce organization that it put in place in the spring.
Vazquez’ position will be eliminated and e-commerce leaders in developed markets such as the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Japan will report to the country leaders of the respective stores organizations with a dotted-line relationship to global e-commerce. Wan Ling Martello, executive vice president of emerging markets and global e-commerce, will continue to oversee efforts in China and India.
Nave’s role will be filled by Joel Anderson, senior vice president of Northern Plains, who has been promoted to president of walmart.com. Anderson will report to Bill Simon, president and chief executive officer of Wal-Mart U.S., with a dotted-line relationship to Eduardo Castro-Wright, president and ceo of global e-commerce and global sourcing.
Wal-Mart doesn’t disclose e-commerce sales, but retail analysts estimate the retailer does about $6 billion a year online, a small fraction of its 2010 sales of $405 billion. By comparison, Amazon.com’s 2010 sales were $34 billion.
William Blair, in a March report said Amazon was the “clear leader” in online pricing, and noted that Amazon offers 14 times as many products as walmart.com.
Wal-Mart has been getting more active in the digital space. It acquired Kosmix, a technology companies in the U.S., and invested in Yihaodian in China. In addition, Wal-Mart bought Vudu, a video streaming service that will allow it to launch an iPad-optimized Web version where customers can rent, buy, and watch video titles from Vudu.
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