As a consequence of its recent bombshell online platform acquisition, when Wal-Mart appointed Jet.com founder Marc Lore as head of the retailer’s combined online business, business media is reporting that the global retailer is once again shaking up the senior leadership of its online business.
Reports indicate that several existing senior online business executives will be leaving. Among them is Brent Beabout, senior vice-president of E-commerce supply chain. He will be succeeded by Jet.com co-founder Nate Faust, who will now oversee customer fulfillment operations for both Jet.com and Walmart.com. This executive leadership move is consistent with other prior moves to provide singular executive leadership of critical business initiatives.
Wal-Mart itself has invested a reported $10.5 billion within new information technology to enhance its online web presence and fulfillment capabilities. The retailer is planning to invest an additional $2 billion over the next two years to further springboard its online fulfillment channel.
Readers may recall that in January, existing corporate IT and @WalMart Labs Silicon Valley development groups were merged together into one singular group. Supply Chain Matters declared this move as another acknowledgement that retailers must view Omni-channel fulfillment under a singular umbrella of leadership and direction to insure a consistent singular experience for consumers. The January move further implied that Wal-Mart’s existing corporate CIO and the Chief Technology Officer of Walmart Labs would report directly to the head of the retailer’s E-Commerce division.
Other executives reported as leaving because of the current re-organization include Fernando Madeira, head of Walmart.com and Dianne Mills, senior vice-president of E-commerce human resources. A previous senior online executive, Neil Ashe, had reportedly departed at the time of the Jet.com acquisition in August.
A Wal-Mart spokesperson indicated to The Wall Street Journal that Mr. Lore is still in the process of analyzing existing organizations to determine what makes sense to manage a singular combined online fulfillment presence and more than likely point to further realignment in the days to come. We would therefore not be surprised if other moves include more streamlined leadership of online and physical store distribution and logistics operations to better assure a seamless response.
According to a published WSJ report, Walmart.com plans to adopt Jet.com’s ‘smart basket” technology that provides more dynamic pricing results based on the composition of the online consumer shopping cart, payment preference and other factors.
At the time of Wal-Mart’s prior January realignment actions, we anticipated that other similar retailer realignments will follow. That trend continues and will more than likely extend well into 2017.