Walmart U.S. has promoted Chris Nicholas to chief operating officer and hired Instacart’s Seth Dallaire as chief revenue officer, both newly created positions.
Nicholas starts in his new post effective immediately, while Dallaire will join Walmart in the coming weeks, Walmart U.S. President and CEO John Furner said in an Oct. 1 company memo announcing the new roles. Steve Schmitt, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Walmart U.S. omnichannel, will take over Nicholas’ previous position as Walmart U.S. CFO. Nicholas.
Both Nicholas, who retains his executive VP title, and Daillaire report to Furner. Schmitt reports to Walmart CFO Brett Biggs.
“We continue to make bold moves this year to improve our offer for customers and support our strategic priorities. We’ve had strong results, we are gaining share in categories like food and consumables, and we are reshaping our offer to be a seamless, omnichannel experience for our customers,” Furner stated in the memo. “Designing for the customer and focusing on simplicity have guided our choices. To accelerate our strategy, we are adding two new positions. Ensuring our structure reinforces our strategy is imperative to our transformation to a more digital, customer-centric organization. And it will ultimately power our flywheel by helping us win in primary destination and better monetization of our assets and capabilities.”
The new Walmart U.S. COO role combines store operations and supply chain responsibilities and will focus on the “transformation of our end-to-end ways of working” and “deliver a seamless customer experience” as Walmart works to become consumers’ primary destination, according to Furner.
“We’ve asked Chris Nicholas to lead the joint organization that includes all the aspects of our supply chain, including strategy, innovation and automation, distribution center and fulfillment center operations, store operations, operations transformation and support, our emerging last-mile delivery capability and real estate,” he said in the memo. “Our goal is to do a better job of connecting the dots and flow our inventory in new and more productive ways.”
Nicholas (left) joined Walmart in August 2018 as senior VP and deputy CFO of Walmart International and in January 2020 was elevated to Walmart International CFO. Then in February 2021, he was promoted to executive VP and CFO of Walmart U.S. He also served as a board member of Walmart de Mexico from October 2019 to February 2021.
Before coming to Walmart, Nicholas spent nearly four years at Australian grocery retailer Coles Group, most recently as CFO, and almost a year-and-a-half as group finance director for Denmark’s Dansk Supermarked Group (now The Salling Group). Those positions followed 12 years at United Kingdom-based food retailer Tesco, including as CFO of Tesco Poland and Tesco Hungary.
Furner noted Nicholas’s more than 20 years of U.S. and international retail experience. “Chris grew up working in retail and is deeply grounded in our purpose,” he said. “In addition to his most recent role as EVP and CFO for Walmart U.S., his retail experience in nine countries and multiple finance and commercial roles, including chief merchant experience, position him well for this new responsibility.”
Dallaire (left) comes to Walmart after nearly two years as chief revenue officer at online delivery giant Instacart, where he also occupied a newly created position. He started at Instacart in November 2019 after over seven years at Amazon, most recently as VP of global advertising sales and marketing. Prior to that, he spent two-and-a-half years at Yahoo! as vice president of global agencies and accounts and seven years at Microsoft as senior director of MSN advertising sales.
“His remit will include Walmart Connect, membership (Walmart+), data monetization and business partnerships,” Furner explained in the memo. “We haven’t had this role before, but this title and set of responsibilities is becoming more common in other businesses.”
Daillaire’s role will be more sharply defined going forward, but he won’t be accountable for overall revenue or sales, noted Furner.
“With the chief revenue officer position, we’ll accelerate growth to help power the flywheel,” he said. “Janey Whiteside, EVP and chief customer officer, and her team have done important work standing up revenue-generating businesses, allowing us to reinvest in the customer value proposition. This work is now at a point where we are ready to put additional focus on scaling efforts for more revenue growth.”
For the fiscal 2022 second quarter ended July 31, net sales at Walmart U.S. rose 5.3% to $98.19 billion, with comparable sales up 5.6% and e-commerce sales up 6% year over year.