Guilherme Loureiro was named chief executive officer of Walmex, which is the company’s Wal-Mart Mexico and Central American unit. He comes from Wal-Mart Brazil. He replaces Enrique Ostalé, who will remain chairman and ceo of Wal-Mart Latin America.

Ostalé took the helm last January as part of a management reshuffle at Mexico’s largest retailer. The position was meant to be temporary, however, and after months of looking for a successor, Walmex promoted Loureiro, who has been ceo of Wal-Mart Brazil since 2012, to the post.

Wal-Mart Brazil’s chief financial officer Flavio Conti will replace Loureiro, said a Walmex spokeswoman.

Loureiro will begin his tenure on Feb. 1 at Walmex’s headquarters in northwest Mexico City, opposite the new Plaza Toreo shopping mall.

“Ostalé was handling Mexico, Central and Latin America and his position was meant to be temporary,” said the spokeswoman. “Guilherme has vast retail experience and understands the market very well.”

Prior to joining Wal-Mart, Loureiro spent 24 years at Unilever in a variety of leadership roles across finance, operations and business development in Brazil, Chile and Mexico. His last position at Unilever was senior vice president of corporate strategies, business development and president of Unilever Ventures.

Loureiro has masters’ and doctorate degrees in business administration from Fundacao Getulio Vargas in São Paulo.

Loureiro’s appointment comes at a time of strength for Walmex, whose sales rose 11 percent in 2015, the highest jump in nearly a decade. Mexico’s retail market strengthened in the second half of 2015 and sales in Central America have been solid. Walmex will release full 2015 earnings during a conference call in late February.

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