Monday, 27 April 2020

Walmart names former Target exec as new U.S. CMO

Walmart has appointed William White, former senior vice president of marketing at Target, as its new U.S. chief marketing officer. 

He will report to Walmart Chief Customer Officer Janey Whiteside.

White first joined Target in 2013. During his time with the Walmart competitor, he served as senior vice president of marketing and has led Target's largest seasonal campaigns and omnichannel efforts, along with key business categories. Prior to Target, he served in various roles for Coca-Cola Co., including group brand director for Diet Coke and Coke Zero, Coca-Cola North America. He has also served as a media planner and buyer for Starcom MediaVest Group.

In a memo to employees, Whiteside called White “a customer-centric, innovative marketer” who “loves to build and nurture teams.”

Prior to White, Walmart's U.S. CMO role had remained vacant since the exit of Barbara Messing in August of 2019, who stayed in the role for only a year. Messing was Walmart’s third CMO in four years, following Tony Rogers and Stephen Quinn.

Rich Lehrfeld, senior VP-brand, creative and media, has served as interim CMO since January, following Messing's exit. 

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to have a massive impact on the economy, Walmart remains one of a handful of companies thriving as consumer demand for basic items skyrockets. Earlier this month, the mega-retailer announced it would hire 50,000 more workers at its stores, clubs and distribution centers to meet a surge in demand for groceries and household essentials. 

While Walmart has taken measures to follow protective social distancing rules during the outbreak, the company's employees have expressed concern over the safety of their working conditions, and earlier this month the company was hit with a wrongful death lawsuit from the estate of a worker who died of Covid-19.

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