Wal-Mart Stores this week announced changes to its food and merchandising leadership teams as the company prepares for increased competition with grocery rivals. In a memo to the company, Charles Redfield, executive vice president for food at Wal-Mart U.S., said the mega retailer is positioning leaders throughout the company in new roles so it can succeed during this time when retail is constantly changing.
Key personnel changes include the following:
- Shawn Baldwin, senior vice-president and general merchandise manager for produce and global food sourcing, will now focus on a new initiative for Hispanic customers. Martin Mundo, who has worked in Argentina and other countries for Wal-Mart, will replace Baldwin.
- Wal-Mart is splitting the bakery and deli departments’ leadership: Kerry Robinson will be responsible for the bakery business; Tyler Lehr will be responsible for deli services.
- Deanah Baker will lead all of apparel, shoes and accessories.
- Scott McCall will oversee the entertainment, toys and seasonal product categories as a general merchandise manager.
- Jeff Evans will be general merchandise manager for products under the home category.
- Greg Hall is now senior vice president of merchandise operation for food.
Recent shifts in the grocery sector, including Amazon.com's acquisition of Whole Foods as well as German grocer Lidl expanding into the U.S., have raised the stakes for Wal-Mart’s food business. These leadership changes reflect the company’s intention to prepare for the competition.