Within seven months of shuffling its Asia unit head, Walmart Stores Inc, the world’s-largest retailer, has brought back Scott Price, as the chief of the region including India. Price, who was moved to the US headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas, as executive vice president, international strategy, will continue to hold his current role and will lead the Asia unit from the US office.
In this current role, he leads several areas including international strategy, real estate, mergers and acquisitions, integration, global format development and purchase leverage.
Price regains responsibility for the company’s operations in China, Japan and India, after previously leading the division from 2009 through 2014.
In April Greg Foran was named as the new head of Asia. However, in July Foran was named president and CEO of the Walmart US business and the post of Asian head has been vacant since then. Foran was previously president and chief executive officer of Walmart China.
Before joining Walmart, Scott served as chief executive officer of DHL Express Europe. Prior to that, he was chief executive officer, DHL Express Asia Pacific and president of DHL Express Japan, DHL’s largest market in the Asia Pacific region. Before joining DHL, Scott spent a decade with the Coca-Cola Company. During that period, he assumed various roles which included country leader in Japan, and as director and region manager in China.
Walmart has been trying to rebuild its India operations after buying out its local JV partner Bharti Enterprises in the wholesale retail business and overhauled its top management in the country late last year. Bharti Enterprises’ retail arm separately runs physical B2C retail outlets.
Walmart had appointed Krish Iyer to head its India operations as part of its growth plan. Last month it named Murali Lanka as its new chief operating officer (COO) effective from December 1, 2014. He would take over a position which got vacant last month as Arvind Mediratta moved to Walmart US.
Meanwhile, Walmart is planning to open 50 cash and carry or wholesale retail outlets in India over the next four to five years. This comes even as the firm faces uncertainty in starting the consumer retail venture in the country.
Although foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retailing is now allowed, it carries the rider of standalone approvals from various state governments where the outlets are launched.
Walmart is also extending the B2B e-commerce platform to its Best Price Modern Wholesale store members. As an exclusive virtual store for its members, the e-commerce platform will provide a similar assortment of products, as well as special items.
Walmart has a significant presence in Asia with nearly 130,000 associates, more than 850 store units and ecommerce websites in China, Japan and India.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)