The National Retail Federation announced that John Furner, president and CEO of Walmart U.S., is the new chairman of its board of directors. Furner was elected to the role at the board’s annual winter meeting during the recent NRF 2022 show in New York City.
Furner takes over for exiting NRF chair Mike George. Formerly the president and CEO of Qurate Retail, Inc., George served in that board position since 2020.
“We are grateful to Mike George for his exceptional leadership as chairman of NRF over the last two years. His guidance and insights have been critical to NRF and our industry as we navigated the pandemic, successfully advocated for critical legislation and ensured that retailers had the tools they needed to overcome the enormous challenges they faced throughout the last two years,” remarked Matthew Shay, NRF president and CEO.
“We are extremely fortunate to gain John’s leadership at this pivotal point, as retailers move beyond the pandemic,” Shay continued. “As we begin a new year and a new chapter for the industry, John’s extensive industry experience and knowledge will guide NRF and retailers large and small into a new era of innovation."
Furner said he looks forward to leading the board at a pivotal time in the industry. “Retailers are the lifeblood of local communities, serving millions of customers each day with the items they need and much more. Our industry is uniquely positioned to ignite economic growth and positive change in neighborhoods big and small. I look forward to leading the NRF board during this consequential time, and I’m confident we’ll all continue to rise to the occasion.”
Several food retail executives are members of the NRF executive committee and board of directors, representing companies including Albertsons, BJ's Wholesale Club, Southeastern Grocers and Target.
Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart operates approximately 10,500 stores under 48 banners in 24 countries, and e-commerce websites, employing 2.2 million-plus associates worldwide. Walmart U.S. is No. 1 on The PG 100, PG’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.