The executive changes at Walmart Inc. keep coming as John Furner, former president and chief executive officer of Sam’s Club, who in November became president and ceo of Walmart U.S., builds his own team.
The retail giant today named Scott McCall, chief merchandising officer, succeeding Steve Bratspies, who is leaving the company, according to a memo from Furner. In addition, Latriece Watkins, a 20-year veteran, who’s held merchandising roles at Walmart and Sam’s Club, was promoted to executive vice president of consumables.
McCall, who started his career at Walmart more than 25 years ago as an hourly management trainee before becoming a buyer, rose through the merchandising ranks to become general merchandise manager of consumables, health and wellness, and home, before leading entertainment, toys and seasonal.
“Scott is a world-class merchant who understands our customers and the ways they want to shop with us,” Furner said.
Bratspies, who held the chief merchandising officer role for four and a half years, was a constant presence on the retailer’s quarterly earnings conference calls with analysts, joining ceo Doug McMillon to add color about merchandise categories.
“Steve has been a critical part of the transformation of our business, improving our food offerings, leaning into digital tools and fueling our growth through great merchandise, and his work on pricing has made a meaningful difference in the lives of our customers,” Furner said.
“My 14 years at Walmart have been the experience of a lifetime,” Bratspies said. “I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve accomplished as a team and the meaningful difference we make in the lives of our customers. I’ll always cherish my Walmart family and take pride in the growth we fueled together, but it’s time for a new challenge.”
Bratspies departure follows that of Ashley Buchanan, chief merchandising officer at Walmart U.S. e-commerce, who left in December to join Michael’s as ceo.
Other Walmart U.S. appointments were revealed in Furner’s memo. Dacona Smith was named chief operating officer, a position he held at Sam’s Club, and Kevin Buncum was promoted to president and executive vice president of Neighborhood Markets. Walmart also beefed up its customer organization, naming Meng Chee as the first executive vice president and chief product officer, while Alex Kreuger, senior vice president, Voice of the Customer, will lead an expanded customer care organization, reporting, along with Chee, to chief customer officer Janey Whiteside.
Walmart is set to release sales for the fourth quarter, including the holiday period, in February. While the retailer has been delivering sold results, competitor Target this week revealed that sales gains for November and December missed its estimates, logging in at 1.4 percent.