Walmart storeWalmart store, Clarkston, Washington, USA - 11 Jun 2018

Walmart U.S. is getting a new boss.

The retail giant unexpectedly announced that John Furner would be replacing Greg Foran as president and chief executive officer of Walmart U.S., effective Nov. 1.

Furner, who will report directly to Walmart president and ceo Doug McMillon, is a Walmart veteran, beginning his career there as an hourly associate in 1993 working part-time in the garden department of a Supercenter.

According to Walmart, Furner worked his way up through the chain, eventually holding a number of leadership roles in operations, merchandising and sourcing at Walmart U.S., Sam’s Club and Walmart International, where he served at Walmart China as chief merchandising and marketing officer. He is currently ceo of Sam’s Club, a role he was given in 2017.

“I’m grateful for this opportunity and ready to get started,” said Furner. “There’s no better place than Walmart U.S. to touch the lives of millions of customers and associates. Together with the team, we will build on the progress under Greg’s leadership and continue to make Walmart an even better place to work and shop. I also want to thank the Sam’s Club team. My years with you have been amazing.”

As for Foran, who ran Walmart U.S. for five years, he has been appointed ceo at Air New Zealand, but will stay on with Walmart through Jan. 31 to ensure a smooth transition.

McMillon said: “John knows our business well, having held many different jobs in the company over more than 25 years, and he is helping transform it for the future. He has the experience and judgment to know what we should continue doing and what we should change. He embraces technology and new ways of working, and he keeps our customers and Sam’s Club members at the center of everything we do, while delivering results for the business.”

Foran added: “It has been an honor to lead the team at Walmart U.S. I’m proud of what we’ve been able to achieve at a unique moment for retail and want to thank the associates who made it happen. It is bittersweet to leave Walmart, but this incredible opportunity to lead an iconic Kiwi brand was one I could not pass up, and I’m looking forward to this next chapter.”

Walmart will announce Furner’s successor at Sam’s Club at a later date.

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