OPERATIONS

Wal-Mart names Rosalind Brewer CEO of Sam’s Club; first female CEO in company history

BY Marianne Wilson

Bentonville, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores announced a series of management changes that include an unexpected change in leadership at Sam’s Club, and a new chief information officer. The retailer said it has named Rosalind Brewer as president and CEO of Sam’s Club. She is the first woman and the first African-American to hold a CEO position at one of the company’s business units.

At Sam’s Club, Brewer is replacing Brian Cornell, 52, who is resigning so that he and his wife can move back to the Northeast for family reasons. His departure comes as Sam’s has experienced strong sales growth. The moves are effective Feb. 1.

"I have felt at home here and have a strong connection to the associates, the company and its values and mission,” Cornell said. “However, after 30 years of asking my family to follow me all around the globe, it is time to put them first. My wife and I want to put down roots in the Northeast and live in the same ZIP code as our children – not just occasionally seeing them in hotels and restaurants."

Brewer was most recently president of the Walmart U.S. east business unit. She was also the first chairperson of the Walmart President’s Council of Global Women Leaders. Prior to Walmart, Brewer worked for Kimberly-Clark, progressing through various positions and eventually becoming president of a key business sector in 2004.

"Roz came to us with an outstanding background in consumer packaged goods more than five years ago," said Walmart president and CEO Mike Duke. "During that time I have seen her develop into a talented merchant and retailer. She has strong strategic, analytical and operational skills and has successfully managed a large and complex business. I’ve also been struck by Roz’s servant leadership when I have visited stores with her. She always lets her team do the talking, with her focus being on how to better support their needs."

In other changes, Karenann Terrell, 50, is being promoted to chief information officer for the company, effective Feb. 1. She will be responsible for the company’s global technology systems including stores and clubs, supply chain, merchandising and enterprise platforms.

In other changes, Rollin Ford, most recently the company’s CIO, was named chief administrative officer with specific areas of responsibility including the information systems division, global sourcing, global business processes, global shared services and global customer insights. Ford was most recently the company’s chief information officer.

Ford will play an important role in helping the company meet its commitment to reduce SG&A expenses as a percentage of sales by more than 100 basis points over the next five years. Ford will focus on leveraging scale, reducing expenses and increasing productivity around the world.

Ford will be succeeded as CIO by Karenann Terrell, effective Feb. 1. She will be responsible for the company’s global technology systems including stores and clubs, supply chain, merchandising and enterprise platforms. Terrell was most recently Walmart’s assistant CIO.

Also, Gisel Ruiz, 41, is promoted to executive VP and COO for Walmart U.S., effective Feb. 1. In this position, she will be responsible for the company’s U.S. operations, which cover more than 3,800 stores and include Supercenters, discount stores, Neighborhood Markets and Walmart Express formats.

Ruiz was most recently executive VP of People for Walmart U.S. where she was responsible for the human resources and store innovation organizations.

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Cornell departs Sam’s, Brewer becomes first female CEO

BY CSA STAFF

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — In an unexpected turn of events, Brian Cornell is stepping down as Sam’s Club president and CEO and will be replaced by Rosalind Brewer who currently serves as president of the Walmart U.S. East business unit. The company announced a number of other senior personnel changes as well in advance of new fiscal year.

In a statement, Walmart said Cornell, 52, recently informed the company that he and his wife would like to move back to the Northeast for family reasons. His departure comes as Sam’s has experienced strong sales growth.

“Brian has done a terrific job at Sam’s Club,” said Walmart president and CEO Mike Duke. “He is a strong, high-energy leader who has delivered great results and leaves behind a business with outstanding momentum. In addition to building a talented, high-functioning team to run that business, he has also developed other leaders who now hold senior positions around the globe.”

Cornell said being part of the Sam’s Club family was a wonderful personal and professional experience he will always value.

“I have felt at home here and have a strong connection to the associates, the company and its values and mission,” Cornell said. “However, after 30 years of asking my family to follow me all around the globe, it is time to put them first. My wife and I want to put down roots in the Northeast and live in the same ZIP code as our children – not just occasionally seeing them in hotels and restaurants.”

With his departure, Rosalind Brewer, 49, is promoted to president and CEO of Sam’s Club, reporting to Duke, effective Feb. 1. Brewer was most recently president of the Walmart U.S. East business unit, where she was responsible for more than $100 billion in annual revenue, representing almost 1,600 stores and more than 500,000 associates. Brewer was also the first chairperson of the Walmart President’s Council of Global Women Leaders.

“Roz came to us with an outstanding background in consumer packaged goods more than five years ago,” said Duke. “During that time I have seen her develop into a talented merchant and retailer. She has strong strategic, analytical and operational skills and has successfully managed a large and complex business. I’ve also been struck by Roz’s servant leadership when I have visited stores with her. She always lets her team do the talking, with her focus being on how to better support their needs.”

Prior to Walmart, Brewer worked for Kimberly-Clark.

In other changes, Walmart said Rollin Ford was named chief administrative officer with specific areas of responsibility including the information systems division, global sourcing, global business processes, global shared services and global customer insights. Ford was most recently the company’s chief information officer, and will continue reporting to Duke.

Ford will play an important role in helping the company meet its commitment to reduce SG&A expenses as a percentage of sales by more than 100 basis points over the next five years. Ford’s efforts will include a focus on leveraging scale, reducing expenses and increasing productivity around the world.

“Rollin has played a key role in driving process improvement and leveraging technology in the past and will now have broad responsibility for some of the key areas that give us the greatest opportunity,” Duke said. “His new position enables us to capitalize on his experience in our information systems, logistics and supply chain divisions, as well as his strength in teambuilding and ability to lead across multiple organizations.”

With Ford in a new role, Walmart elevated Karenann Terrell to the position of CIO where she will be responsible for the company’s global technology systems including stores and clubs, supply chain, merchandising and enterprise platforms. Terrell joined Walmart two years ago and was most recently Walmart’s assistant chief information officer and will continue reporting to Ford.

“Karenann has brought a wealth of experience to the organization, along with a technology foundation that will continue to serve Walmart well,” said Ford. “She has embraced our mission and our values and has a passion for supporting our customers around the world. I’m confident that, in her new role, she will take Walmart’s information systems division to a whole new level.”

And in another major development, Walmart elevated Gisel Ruis to the role of EVP and COO of Walmart U.S. reporting to divisional president and CEO Bill Simon. Ruiz previously served as EVP people for Walmart U.S. In her new role she will be responsible for company’s U.S. operations, which cover more than 3,800 stores and include Supercenters, discount stores, Neighborhood Markets and Walmart Express formats. All three regional business unit presidents will report to her.

“I’m incredibly excited to see Gisel’s impact on the stores,” said Simon. “She started in our stores, ran stores and, more importantly, understands the perspective of our associates like no one else on our leadership team. That’s invaluable. For nearly 20 years, Gisel has proven herself to be a strong and capable operator, manager, teacher, retail executive and role model for our culture.”

As tends to be the case where Walmart makes a series of high level personnel moves the company uses the occasion to tout the depth of its bench strength.

“We are very intentional about developing talent to meet the needs of our rapidly growing business worldwide,” said CEO Duke. “The promotions we are announcing today are clear evidence that our succession and management development programs work, and that we have highly talented, well-rounded and experienced business leaders ready to step into larger roles when the opportunities arise.”

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Kodak officially files for Ch. 11

BY CSA STAFF

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — After weeks of speculation, Kodak and its U.S. subsidiaries officially filed voluntary petitions for Chapter 11 business reorganization.

The company, which submitted the filing in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, said the decision is "intended to bolster liquidity in the U.S. and abroad, monetize nonstrategic intellectual property, fairly resolve legacy liabilities and enable the company to focus on its most valuable business lines." Earlier this month, Kodak unveiled a new corporate structure, which included the consolidation of its three business units into two, the creation of the chief operating office and related executive appointments.

Kodak has obtained a fully-committed, $950 million debtor-in-possession credit facility with an 18-month maturity from Citigroup to enhance liquidity and working capital. The credit facility is subject to court approval and other conditions precedent. Kodak expects to complete its U.S.-based restructuring during 2013.

“Kodak is taking a significant step toward enabling our enterprise to complete its transformation,” Kodak chairman and CEO Antonio Perez said. “At the same time as we have created our digital business, we have also already effectively exited certain traditional operations, closing 13 manufacturing plants and 130 processing labs, and reducing our workforce by 47,000 since 2003. Now we must complete the transformation by further addressing our cost structure and effectively monetizing non-core IP assets. We look forward to working with our stakeholders to emerge a lean, world-class, digital imaging and materials science company.

“After considering the advantages of Chapter 11 at this time, the board of directors and the entire senior management team unanimously believe that this is a necessary step and the right thing to do for the future of Kodak,” Perez said. “Our goal is to maximize value for stakeholders, including our employees, retirees, creditors, and pension trustees. We are also committed to working with our valued customers.”

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