Walmart rejigs top deck in Asia, elevates Greg Foran as president & CEO

Walmart Stores Inc, the world’s-largest retailer, has announced top management changes and has named Greg Foran, currently president and chief executive officer of Walmart China, as the new president and CEO of Walmart Asia. 

Foran will replace Scott Price, who is moving to the US headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas, as executive vice president, international strategy.

“In his new role, Greg will be able to continue to guide our China growth plan as well as provide support and direction for our other Asia businesses,” David Cheesewright, president and CEO at Walmart International, said in a statement released by the company.

Foran, a retail industry veteran with a total experience of over 30 years, will look at India plans now as part of Asia business. Foran had joined Walmart in 2011 from Woolworths Ltd in Australia. He will now be based in the company’s Asia regional office in Hong Kong. The changes will come into force from June 1.

The firm 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.

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 has been allowed by the current Congress-led political coalition, 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.

At the same time, Walmart is also seeing a top executive management change globally with former president and CEO Lee Scott and board member Chris Williams declaring they will not be standing for re-election to the company's board at the annual shareholders' meeting on June 6.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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