The National Retail Federation (NRF) announced earlier this week that it will recognize Wal-Mart President and CEO Doug McMillon as “The Visionary,” an award given once a year to an outstanding retail industry leader during the 2018 NRF Foundation Gala on Jan. 14 in New York City.
The Visionary is awarded annually to a leader with a long record of spearheading change in the retail industry. Each year, prominent retail executives identify an individual who is a disruptor, dreamer, giver, influencer and power player who has changed and continues to transform the landscape of retail in a monumental way.
“Doug McMillon is a homegrown talent at Wal-Mart who has spent his entire career rotating through different roles to better understand the business," said Matthew Shay, president and CEO, NRF, in a press release announcing the honor for McMillon. "His diversity in experience has created a leader who ensures that the world’s largest company remains a pioneer that sets the pace for retailers around the world."
McMillon is a longtime champion of Wal-Mart’s customers, associates and the company’s culture. In 1984, he worked as an hourly summer associate in a Wal-Mart distribution center, and in 1990, while pursuing his MBA, he rejoined the company as an assistant manager in a Tulsa, Okla., store before moving to merchandising.
McMillon went on to successfully serve in senior leadership roles in all of Wal-Mart’s business segments. From 2006 to 2009, he served as president and CEO of Sam’s Club, which had annual sales of more than $46 billion during his tenure. From February 2009 to February 2014, he was president and CEO of Wal-Mart International, which has more than 6,400 stores and nearly 800,000 associates in 26 countries outside the United States. He became president and CEO of the entire company in February 2014.
The third annual NRF Foundation Gala in January 2017 raised $2 million for scholarships, programs and initiatives to shape the next generation of the retail workforce.