Craig Wimsatt, chief operating officer (COO) at Bharti Retail, the privately held arm of Bharti Enterprises Ltd, will lead the retail business after Raj Jain, the CEO of the company decided to quit the firm to join media giant Bennett Coleman & Co Ltd.

Wimsatt will now lead the company’s retail operations but will continue to sport the COO designation, Bharti Retail said on Wednesday.

“Having successfully led the business through the transition phase, Raj has decided to move on to pursue opportunities outside of Bharti. We respect his decision and wish him good luck for the future. Craig Wimsatt, currently the COO, will lead the operations at Bharti Retail,” noted the statement cited by Mint.

Last month, the firm which runs Easyday retail outlets, appointed Craig Wimsatt as its COO. In February this year, Wimsatt was reportedly appointed as an advisor at Bharti Retail.

Wimsatt had previously served two years as COO of Bharti-Walmart joint venture, which ran hypermarkets in India and continues to do so though they are now independently operated by Walmart.

He has been with Walmart in various capacities for the last two decades and for the last four years Wimsatt was serving as vice president of Global Format Development & Operations at Walmart.

In October last year, Walmart announced that it is buying out Bharti Enterprises in their equal equity wholesale retail joint venture Bharti Walmart, marking a split in their retail venture. The employees of the JV firm were given the option of either working with Walmart India for its existing wholesale cash & carry retail chain or for Bharti Retail.

Bharti Retail independently operates neighbourhood retail chains under the Easyday brand spread across the north India region besides states like Maharashtra in the west and Karnataka in the south.

Both firms are rebuilding their top management. In December, Walmart named Krish Iyer as president and CEO of Walmart India. Iyer replaced interim CEO Ramnik Narsey.

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