Walmart China imports new leadership

Keeping tabs on key personnel moves at Walmart’s home office in Bentonville is hard enough, but the situation is even more challenging in overseas markets due to an uneven and selective disclosure strategy.

For example, this week in China, the Bloomberg and Reuters news agencies reported on some key changes involving the appointment of Sean Clarke as COO of Walmart China and the appointment of Steve Smith as chief marketing officer. Clarke previously served as head of finance in Canada, and Smith came from the Delhaize Group where he was a SVP, according to emailed statements the news agencies said they received from Walmart.

The top operations role opened up a few months ago after the former COO Rob Cissell and former CFO Roland Lawrence resigned. Shortly thereafter, Shawn Gray, a long-time operations VP, resigned to assume a new role at India’s Reliance Retail where Cissell had been named CEO. Walmart China filled the hole created by Lawrence’s departure by transferring Mario-Jose Medina from his CFO role in Chile to become the top bean counter in China.

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