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Walmart U.S. marketing chief Barbara Messing steps down after a year

New retail marketing team formed to better support stores, e-commerce

Barbara Messing, who joined Walmart last summer as senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Walmart U.S. and Walmart eCommerce U.S., is leaving the company.

Walmart said in an internal memo yesterday that Messing’s last day with the company will be Aug. 30. Her role will be filled on an interim basis by Michael Francis, who has served as a strategic marketing consultant at Walmart and will lead a newly formed retail marketing team. Before joining Walmart in late 2015, Francis had served as chief global brand officer at DreamWorks Animation, president of JCPenney and the longtime chief marketing officer at Target Corp.

Barbara_Messing_Walmart_1_0[1].png“Barbara Messing [left] has decided to leave Walmart and return to the Bay Area with her family,” Janey Whiteside, executive vice president and chief customer officer for Walmart U.S. and Walmart eCommerce U.S., said in the memo. “During her time at Walmart, she’s led both memorable and effective creative campaigns that reached our customers in new and unexpected ways. She’s been an advocate for our customers, encouraging our teams to think differently about how to reach them outside of traditional advertising avenues to truly tell one holistic Walmart story.”

Messing started in the Walmart U.S. CMO role in mid-August 2018. Previously, she served as chief marketing officer for leading global travel website TripAdvisor. Whiteside, a longtime American Express executive, had begun at Walmart in her current role a couple of weeks before Messing.

“For the last year, Barb has also been on a path to organize the marketing team to best serve the changing needs of the business and our customers,” Whiteside said in the Aug. 19 memo. “Today, we’re announcing the creation of a new retail marketing team within the marketing organization that’s been created to best support merchandising and key initiatives across our stores and e-commerce business.”

To that end, Brittney Duke, vice president of marketing operations, is joining the retail marketing team as vice president of general merchandise marketing, and Ciara Anfield, senior director of store experience marketing, is being promoted to vice president of consumables marketing.

In addition, Karissa Price, senior director of health and wellness marketing, is being promoted to vice president and will oversee health and wellness marketing. And Alvis Washington, vice president of store experience marketing, will join the new retail marketing team.

Also on the retail marketing team is David Echegoyen, vice president of grocery, pickup, delivery and services marketing for Walmart U.S. and online. Walmart announced Echegoyen’s appointment to the role in June, shifting him over from, where he served as vice president and chief customer officer.

Walmart said it has begun a search a new chief marketing officer as well as a senior vice president of retail marketing to oversee the new retail marketing team and seasonal programs. The company also announced that the marketing operations team, which previously reported to Duke, will now report to Rich Lehrfeld, senior vice president of brand marketing and media.

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