Walmart Makes Post-Holiday Executive Moves
Walmart Inc. has appointed Scott McCall its new chief merchandising officer, replacing Steve Bratspies, who is leaving the company, according to an internal company memo cited in published reports.
The memo comes in the wake of the all-important holiday season, which, according the Washington, D.C.-based National Retail Federation, resulted in a 4.1% year-over-year rise in retail sales to $730.2 billion, largely driven by online and other nonstore sales.
As the mega-retailer’s chief merchant for more than four years, Bratspies has guided product selection and pricing in its U.S. stores, reported The Wall Street Journal, sourcing the memo and “people familiar with the matter.”
Bratspies joined Walmart in 2005 as VP of category marketing and rose to SVP of marketing in 2007, according to Walmart’s website. He went on to hold a range of merchandise roles, including oversight of the company’s food business, including responsibility for private brands and global food sourcing, as well as positions where he was responsible for the dry grocery and general merchandise businesses.
McCall, meanwhile, began his Walmart career as an hourly management trainee at a store in Grenada, Miss., more than a quarter-century ago. He later relocated to the company’s hometown of Bentonville, Ark., to take on an operational role before becoming a merchandise buyer. His merchandising roles have included buyer in lawn and garden, VP in hardware and toys, and SVP in consumables, health and wellness, and home. His most recent position before his latest promotion was SVP for entertainment, toys and seasonal, in which capacity he headed all merchandising activities for toys, seasonal, celebrations, media, and gaming, consumer electronics, wireless and photo.
Walmart additionally appointed Dacona Smith COO of the Walmart U.S. unit, filling a position that had been vacant since the former COO, Judith McKenna, was named head of Walmart’s international division in 2018. A 30-year company veteran, Smith was most recently COO of the Sam’s Club division.
Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart operates more than 11,300 stores under 58 banners in 27 countries, and ecommerce websites, employing 2.2 million-plus associates worldwide. The company is No. 1 on Progressive Grocer’s 2019 Super 50 list of the top grocers in the United States.