Wal-Mart Revamps U.S. Ops

Wal-Mart Stores here said last week it is realigning its Walmart US organization to leverage its scale and move closer to the customer, effective today. It also said it plans to establish a new global sourcing organization under the leadership of Eduardo Castro-Wright, vice chairman, to leverage the scale of global merchandising operations, reduce costs and drive quality through

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores here said last week it is realigning its Walmart US organization to leverage its scale and move closer to the customer, effective today.

It also said it plans to establish a new global sourcing organization under the leadership of Eduardo Castro-Wright, vice chairman, to leverage the scale of global merchandising operations, reduce costs and drive quality through the supply chain.

According to Castro-Wright, Wal-Mart has been working to strengthen its price position, improve merchandise assortments and upgrade the shopping experience. “It is now time to escalate these efforts — to switch to high gear — by leveraging our size and global scale,” he said.

To do that, the company said it is aligning its real estate, store operations and logistics divisions into a new merchandising execution organization under the leadership of Bill Simon, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Walmart US, with Eric Zorn, EVP and president of Walmart Realty, and Johnnie Dobbs, EVP of logistics, reporting to Simon. Both their roles will be expanded further, the company noted.

At the same time, the customer experience division will transition into the realty organization and store planning will move into the customer experience organization, providing complete alignment from store siting to store execution, Castro-Wright said.

Those moves “will help facilitate our growth as we seek to enter new markets and develop new segments across the U.S. and will drive efficiencies by allowing us to better leverage our resources,” Castro-Wright said.

“We are also building a structure that aligns the store planning team with the customer experience team that is currently part of merchandising [to] will support our efforts to accelerate our speed-to-market with new formats.”

The new merchandising organization will consist of three geographic business units:

  • Walmart West, under Raul Vazquez as EVP and president. Vazquez was formerly president and chief executive officer of Walmart.com [4].

  • Walmart North, under Rosalind Brewer as EVP and president. Brewer was formerly president of the Southeast division for Walmart US.

  • Walmart North, under Hank Mullany as EVP and president. Mullany was formerly president of the Northeast division of Walmart US.

With the new structure, the number of market managers and their span of control will be reduced, allowing them to focus on developing store managers and implement new productivity initiatives, the company said.