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Walmart names longtime vet to lead international division

BY Marianne Wilson

Walmart has tapped a 20-plus years company veteran to head up its second-largest operating segment — a job that many industry experts regard as a stepping stone to the top job at the retail giant.

The company announced it is promoting Judith McKenna to president and CEO of Walmart International, effective Feb. 2.

She will succeed David Cheesewright, who has been in the role since 2014 and recently announced his decision to retire from the full-time position. He will remain with the company full time through March, and then serve the company on a limited basis.

McKenna is currently executive VP and COO for Walmart U.S. She joined the company in 1996 at Asda, where she served as COO and CFO. McKenna also served as executive VP of strategy and international development for Walmart International. She moved to the Walmart U.S. division in April 2014, as the business unit’s chief development officer, where she led the strategy, development and growth of Walmart’s small format business and the partnership with Walmart.com to integrate digital commerce into the physical store presence. Several months later she was promoted to her current role.

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon headed up the global division prior to being appointed to the top job at the chain in January 2014. So did his predecessor Mike Duke.

“I’ve had the pleasure to work with Judith for many years and have seen first-hand her ability to lead strategic change, build relationships with our associates and strengthen our business,” McMillon said. “It has been inspiring to see her personal growth and the results she’s driven over the years. Her integrity, high expectations and passion for the business and our associates will ensure our continued success in International.”

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Albertsons names new COO with Denningham retiring

BY David Salazar

Albertsons has announced that its president and COO Wayne Denningham will be retiring at the end of its fiscal year, leading it to appoint a new COO. The Boise, Idaho-based company named Susan Morris to the role of executive vice president and COO, which will see her overseeing Albertsons’ supply chain, manufacturing and operations.

Albertsons new EVP and COO Susan Morris

Susan Morris

“Susan is a talented leader within our company, and she fully embraces our entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to running really good stores,” Albertsons chairman and CEO Bob Miller said. “Susan raised her hand to come to Albertsons LLC in 2010 when she was a senior vice president of sales and marketing for a competitor, and she took the only job we had open — a grocery sales manager in our Southwest division. She has proven herself to be a valuable part of our leadership team in readily accepting new challenges, developing others and bringing teams together, and I know that her broad experience will be of significant value to Albertsons Companies as we move forward.”

Morris’ career has included such leadership roles as store director, corporate grocery sales director, vice president of bakery and operations and vice president of customer satisfaction. She was named Intermountain division president in 201 and was asked to lead the company’s Denver division in 2015. In 2016, she became executive vice president of East operations and took the helm of the company’s West region in March 2017.

As part of her new role, Morris will continue to head the company’s Seattle, Portland, Northern California and Southern California divisions. The reshuffle will leave Jim Perkins, executive vice president of operations and special projects, as president of Acme and Eastern divisions. Albertson’s Denver, Intermountain, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Southern, Southwest, and United divisions will be lead by Mike Wither, executive vice president of East region operations.

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Kroger reportedly among Boxed suitors

BY David Salazar

Kroger could be the latest retailer to acquire an e-commerce company, with Forbes reporting that the Cincinnati-based company is among the companies looking to acquire online wholesaler Boxed. The report, citing sources close to the talks, said that Kroger’s initial offer could value Boxed for between $325 million and $500 million.

Forbes also reported that some of Kroger’s grocery competitors are also interested, though they hadn’t made formal offers as of Friday. Boxed was launched in 2013 and has been seen as an e-commerce version of such wholesale stores as Sam’s Club and Costco.

Kroger’s move would mean it would be following a similar tack as Target, which recently acquired online grocery company Shipt, and Walmart, which acquired Jet.com in late 2016.

To read the full Forbes report, click here.

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