BOSTON — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has promoted John Fleming, president of and a former Target Corp. executive, to chief marketing officer.

Fleming spent 19 years at Target before joining Wal-Mart’s Brisbane, Calif.-based Internet division in 2000. He replaces Robert Connolly, who is retiring at the end of the year. He takes over today.

Fleming, 46, will relocate to the company’s headquarters in Bentonville, Ark., and report to Michael Duke, president and chief executive officer of the Wal-Mart Stores division.

He also will be responsible for all in-store signs, advertising and visual merchandising. It’s likely he’ll draw on experience gained at rival Target, considered one of the savviest marketers in retail. At Target, Fleming rose to senior vice president of fashion merchandising, overseeing apparel, shoes and accessories.

Fleming will continue to oversee Wal-Mart’s e-commerce operation. During his tenure, moved into music downloads and dabbled in selling more upscale items such as cashmere sweaters and plasma televisions.

“John’s background in both traditional and online retail ensures we will continue to strengthen the ways we market and merchandise to customers,” Duke said in a statement. “ has proven to be a tremendously important complement to our stores’ business.”

This story first appeared in the May 2, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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