Merchandising Chief Fleming Leaves Walmart

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Merchandising Chief Fleming Leaves Walmart


Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s CMO is stepping down from his post at the world’s largest retailer.

John Fleming is leaving for personal reasons, according to a memo from Walmart U.S. president and CEO Bill Simon to company associates that was posted on the corporate Web site. “In the 10 years John has spent at Walmart, he has built a strong team and has been the architect of groundbreaking efforts to grow our e-commerce business, creative marketing programs to communicate with customers and inventive merchandising initiatives,” Simon said.

Until Fleming’s successor is named, Jack Sinclair, EVP/GM of grocery, will lead Walmart’s Food and Health & Wellness merchandising teams, and John Westling, EVP of planning, pricing and replenishment, will lead the General Merchandising and Replenishment teams.

Further, Gisel Ruiz has been promoted to EVP of Walmart People. Ruiz, who began her Walmart career in 1992 as a management trainee and has moved through the managerial ranks, was promoted to VP and regional general manager in 2006 and SVP of people in 2008.

These latest changes to the leadership team of the Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer follow the promotions in the past week of Simon to his current post and vice chairman Eduardo Castro-Wright to president and CEO of and Global Sourcing. Rounding out the leadership team are Stephen Quinn, EVP and CMO; Johnnie Dobbs, EVP, logistics; Eric Zorn, president, Walmart Realty; Tom Mars, chief administrative officer; and geographic business unit leaders Raul Vazquez (West), Rosalind Brewer (South) and Hank Mullany (North).

“Our leadership team will focus on picking up our pace to meet our challenges,” Simon said in the memo. “Our mandate is clear: increase customer traffic, make sure our products are relevant to our customer and never give an inch on price leadership. These areas matter most for the continued growth of our business.”