Walmart’s new CEO: Reading the tea leaves

A succession plan at a huge, visible company like Walmart or GM is worth watching closely. In Walmart’s case, the horse race between William Simon and Doug McMillon (who got the job) appeared competitive, but lagging comp sales in the U.S. threw the advantage to Mr. McMillon. Here’s my opinion from a recent RetailWire commentary:

Bypassing Mr. Simon signals that Walmart is not as happy with its U.S. business as the article suggests. Mr. McMillon’s challenges include continuing to grow the company’s e-commerce and international businesses, but he also needs to figure out how to restart the domestic volume beyond its food and commodity categories heavily dependent on its most economically stressed customers. It sounds like the new CEO is well prepared for the job, especially having the “home-grown” credibility so important to the Walmart culture.


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