NRF to Honor ‘Visionary’ Walmart CEO Doug McMillon


The National Retail Federation (NRF) will present Wal-Mart Stores Inc. President and CEO Doug McMillon with The Visionary award, an annual honor given to an exceptional retail leader, at the 2018 NRF Foundation Gala on Jan. 14 in New York.

“From risk-taking acquisitions like to investing in the future of the industry by prioritizing workforce solutions and spearheading initiatives that empower businesses to be a force for good, Doug McMillon’s leadership has kept Walmart at the forefront of innovation,” noted Matthew Shay, president and CEO of Washington, D.C.-based NRF. “Doug McMillon is a homegrown talent at Walmart who has spent his entire career rotating through different roles to better understand the business. 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.”

“We strive to be a purpose-driven company, and we work to make every day easier for busy families,” said McMillon. “This is an exciting time to be in retail, as customers are more connected than ever. We’re having fun thinking of new and innovative ways to serve them and to save them not only money, but time. I’m proud of the team we have in place and I’d like to thank our associates, because they are the ones serving customers every day and doing the work that is being recognized by the NRF, and for that we are truly humbled.”

Starting out as an hourly summer associate in a Walmart distribution center in 1984, McMillon rejoined the company in 1990 as an assistant manager at a Tulsa, Okla., store while pursuing his MBA, later moving to merchandising. He then went on hold various senior leadership roles in all of the mega-retailer’s business segments. From 2006 to 2009, he was president and CEO of Sam’s Club, from February 2009 to February 2014, he was president and CEO of Walmart International, and since February 2014, he has been president and CEO of the entire company.

Under McMillon’s leadership, Walmart is uniting its stores, logistics network and ecommerce capabilities in novel ways to enable customers to shop whenever, wherever and however they want. The company operates 11,652 stores under 59 banners in 28 countries, and ecommerce websites in 11 countries.

At the NRF Foundation Gala, retail leaders gather to celebrate the industry, support the next generation of talent, recognize the achievements of the people shaping retail today and invest in tomorrow by giving back. The annual third gala this past January raised $2 million for scholarships, programs and initiatives to mold the next generation of the retail workforce.

The inaugural Visionary award was presented by Kobe Bryant to Nike CEO Mark Parker at the 2017 gala.

NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 other countries.