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Walmart shuffles food management team

Retailer launching initiative focusing on Hispanic shoppers

Wal-Mart Stores has moved some key players in its food leadership team and is launching a new initiative to focus on Hispanic shoppers.

Among the changes, Shawn Baldwin, senior VP and general merchandise manager for produce and global food sourcing, will transition to a different role focusing on the new Hispanic initiative, a Walmart spokesman confirmed.

“We have a broad base of experience across our food business in the U.S., and we are putting some new faces in new places in other parts of the business to share that experience,” Randy Hargrove, the Walmart spokesman, said.

Several media outlets on Monday had reported the changes, citing a memo from Charles Redfield, EVP of food at Wal-Mart U.S., that was issued internally at the company on Friday.

“With constant change in retail, we’re fortunate to have leaders from across the company who can bring their experience and knowledge to new roles and deliver the results we need to win together,” Redfield said in the memo, which Walmart provided to SN on Monday.

Baldwin will be succeeded by Martin Mundo, who is currently senior VP of operations, Southeast, for Walmart U.S. He joined Walmart in 1994 and held leadership position in Argentina before joining Walmart U.S. in 2012.

In addition, Walmart will divide the responsibility for its bakery and deli departments among two individuals — Kerry Robinson and Tyler Lehr. Robinson, who had been overseeing bakery and deli, will now focus on bakery as senior VP and general merchandise manager, bakery, and Lehr will oversee deli services as senior VP and general merchandise manager, deli services. Lehr most recently had been VP, Win in Fresh.

Lehr will be succeeded by Marc Lieberman, who is currently VP of Neighborhood Markets.

In addition, Seth Malley, merchandise manager, frozen foods, has been promoted to VP and division merchandise manager, beverage, reporting to Al Dominguez, senior VP and general merchandise manager, snack, beverage and impulse.

In a separate memo, Walmart also made several changes to its merchandising team, including naming Greg Hall senior VP of merchandise operations for food, according to reports.

“Walmart continues to adjust its business against a rapidly evolving trading environment, focusing on the opportunities to serve its customers in new and diverse ways,” said Stewart Samuel, program director, IGD Canada, who oversees IGD’s research and coverage of Walmart. “These new appointments also highlight Walmart’s determination to win with food in the U.S., an area that has been prioritized under the leadership of [CEO] Greg Foran over the last three years.”

Asked about the significance of the new Hispanic initiative. Samuel said the company’s increased focus on the Hispanic shopper “highlights the opportunity in this area, particularly with Hispanic Millennials.”

TAGS: Walmart
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