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CashStar appoints new CEO

BY CSA STAFF

CashStar, a digital gifting company, has named Ben Kaplan as the company’s president and CEO. In addition to his role as president and CEO, Kaplan remains a member of the company’s board of directors, to which he was appointed in August when he joined CashStar as COO.

“Since joining CashStar, Ben has rapidly made a significant and positive impact on the company,” commented Steven Boal, founder and chairman of CashStar. “It became clear quite quickly that his abilities to drive both innovation and operational excellence make him exactly the right person for the role of president and CEO. I’m excited he is leading CashStar and look forward to great success.”

He has more than 20 years of experience, serving most recently as COO at Cartera Commerce, a leading provider of card-linked marketing solutions for merchants, banks and loyalty programs. He has also held senior operations, marketing and product roles at KNOVA Software, North Systems, Broadbase and Commerce One.

“Since joining CashStar, I have seen firsthand how our innovative solutions and commitment to customer success deliver tremendous value to our clients and partners,” added Kaplan. “We are at an exciting point in the company’s evolution, and are well positioned to take advantage of the rapid shift to mobile and the convergence of gifting, offers, loyalty programs, and payments. With the incredibly talented team at CashStar, I am confident that we will continue to grow, innovate and change the way the world thinks about digital gifting.”

CashStar is a leading provider of omnichannel digital gifting solutions for the world’s top brands. According to the company, its platform enables retailers and restaurants to maximize sales, eliminate fraud risk, increase customer engagement and drive adoption of mobile payments. Some of its clients include Best Buy, Brookstone, Coach, Crate & Barrel, Dell, Dunkin’ Donuts, Gap, Lululemon, Petco, Pottery Barn, QVC, Sephora, Staples, Starbucks, The Cheesecake Factory, The Home Depot and Williams-Sonoma.

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Staples appoints treasurer from within

BY CSA STAFF

Staples has promoted John Buchta to VP, treasurer and tax. Buchta adds the role of treasurer to his current responsibilities as VP, tax, and will continue to report to Christine Komola, EVP and CFO.

“John has been an outstanding leader at Staples and brings more than 25 years of industry experience to his new role,” Komola said.

Buchta joined Staples in 2011. Prior to Staples, he was a partner at Ernst & Young. He succeeds Lisa Scopa, who has been promoted to the position of VP, high growth markets.

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No Obama, but Walmart Asia CEO touts progress in Bali

BY CSA STAFF

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) organization’s CEO Summit is winding down in Bali, Indonesia and Walmart Asia CEO Scott Price used the event as a platform to share progress the company has made on a variety of fronts.

Price, who serves as chairman of the National Center for APEC, was among a roster of high level business executive and global political leaders to attend the event which ran from October 1-8. Notably absent was U.S. President Barack Obama who had canceled his visit at the last minute due to the U.S. government shutdown.

"Walmart is making strong progress in APEC markets as we continue our global growth. Many of the key priorities of the APEC forum are strikingly similar to those of Walmart,” Price said. “For example, supporting the economic empowerment of women, increasing the speed and efficiency in both our supply chain and our sourcing operations, adding new stores and infrastructure, playing a leadership role in food security and sustainability – these are all shared goals that are not only critical to Walmart’s success, but to people, communities and entire economies alike. We believe these priorities are critical in delivering on our mission – which is to help customers save money and live better.”

Price outlined Walmart’s accomplishments in areas such as women’s economic empowerment, supply chain efficiency and global source, infrastructure, food security and environmental sustainability. For example, he noted that 8,000 of Walmart’s nearly 11,000 stores and 1.8 million of its 2.2 million employees are located in APEC economies, a region that in addition to Asian countries includes the U.S., Mexico and Canada as they border the Pacific.

Regarding women’s economic empowerment, Price noted that Walmart has supported nearly 75,000 women to gain job skills and other training in the U.S., Mexico, China, Chile and Brazil.

In the areas of supply chain efficiency and global sourcing, Price said Walmart is facilitating global trade among 70 countries and cited examples such as ice cream produced in Iowa exported to Chile, grapes from Chile exported to Japan and China and apparel from Malaysia and Indonesia, horticulture and accessories from Thailand, home furnishings from Vietnam and produce from Peru exported to the U.S. and other markets.

In the area of food security, Price said Walmart was the first partner of Feeding America to donate one billion meals and in Japan the company is partnering with Second Harvest to donate food from 52 stores and by 2016 it will expand to more than 150 stores.

In China, as part of an effort to ensure the safety of its fresh and packaged food products, Walmart China launched the Mobile Lab program. The first-of-its-kind initiative outfits customized vans with food safety inspection technology, and staffs them with specialists trained in food science and technology, biology, chemistry and agriculture. The program has served 33 stores in Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Dongguan and is now being extended to cover more than 70 stores across all of Guangdong Province

Lastly, in the area of environmental sustainability, Price noted that Walmart has more than 180 renewable energy projects in operation or development, generating enough energy to power the equivalent of 78,000 U.S. homes annually, or roughly 21% of Walmart’s worldwide electricity needs.

"One of the key overriding themes APEC economies strive for is sustainable and inclusive growth, which is something that Walmart not only relates to, but very much strives for too,” Price said. “The APEC CEO Summit provides an unparalleled platform to discuss, exchange ideas and move these very important issues forward, and I look forward to the opportunity to share more about Walmart’s progress and views during the summit.”

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