Wal-Mart Names Cornell President and CEO of Sam's Club

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Wal-Mart Names Cornell President and CEO of Sam's Club

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has hired former Safeway CMO Brian Cornell as president and CEO of Sam's Club, the company's members-only warehouse operating segment, effective April 3. Cornell replaces Doug McMillon, who became president and CEO of Wal-Mart International on Feb. 1, and will report to Mike Duke, president and CEO of Wal-Mart.

"In searching for our new Sam's Club CEO, we wanted a leader who is strong, talented, and people-oriented," said Duke. "We also wanted someone with broad experience in retail management, food merchandising, and consumer product marketing. Above all, we looked for a leader who would live up to our brand and our culture. We found all of these things in Brian."

Sam's Club ended the last fiscal year with $46.8 billion in sales, a 5.6 percent increase in revenue over the prior year. As of year end, there were 602 Sam's Clubs operating in the United States. Sam's plans to add between 15 and 20 clubs during the current fiscal year.

"If you look at the performance of the three biggest warehouse clubs over the past year, it’s clear that the club business is among the fastest-growing retail segments," noted Duke. "There has never been a time of greater opportunity for Sam's Club, and its continued growth is an integral part of our company's overall business plan. Brian's unique talent and experience will help build on the strong foundation and recent momentum at Sam's Club, and take our club business to the next level."

Cornell has more than 20 years of retail experience, most recently serving as CEO of Michael's Stores, Inc., the largest specialty retailer of arts and crafts merchandise for the hobbyist and do-it-yourself home decorator in North America. Prior to that, Cornell was EVP and CMO officer for Safeway, where he was responsible for the company's marketing, merchandising and distribution operations, as well as its online home delivery business. Cornell has also held senior management positions at PepsiCo, including president of Pepsi-Cola North America's Food Services Division and president of Tropicana International.