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Walmart Replaces U.S. CEO

24 Jul, 2014 By: Erik Gruenwedel

New Walmart U.S. boss Greg Foran

Greg Foran replaces Bill Simon, who was instrumental in Walmart’s acquisition of Vudu and rollout of disc-to-digital service in 2012

Walmart July 24 announced it has named Greg Foran its new CEO of U.S. operations, replacing Bill Simon, who is exiting the company after eight years.

Foran, who headed Walmart China after joining the retail behemoth in 2011, starts his position Aug. 9, reporting to Walmart CEO Doug McMillon.

Simon is credited with helping Walmart evolve its online business and home entertainment status as the top packaged-media retailer, in addition to rolling out the chain’s $4 prescription drug program, among other programs. He also spearheaded a U.S. manufacturing revitalization and committed Walmart to hire more U.S. veterans.

Under Simon’s guidance, Walmart acquired online transaction VOD service Vudu, and in 2012 became the first major retailer to offer disc-to-digital service enabling consumers to upload their DVD movies to the cloud. He also introduced Walmart to the used video game business.

“Simon put us on a path to future growth with small [store] formats and efforts that integrate digital and physical retail,” McMillon said in a statement.

That said, Walmart saw its profit drop 5% in the first quarter and, at the time, issued cautioned guidance for the second quarter, which it reports Aug. 14.

Meanwhile, Foran helped position Walmart China as a retail force in the world’s most populous country through pricing, store operations and compliance. He was promoted to president and CEO of Walmart Asia earlier this year.

“Greg is one of the most talented retailers I’ve ever met. His depth of knowledge and global experience will bring a fresh perspective to our business, McMillon said. “His passion for fresh food, experience in general merchandise and commitment to e-commerce will help us serve our customers even more effectively for years to come.”

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