Retail giant Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT) recently announced the appointment of David Cheesewright as the president and chief executive officer (CEO) of its Walmart International division.
Cheesewright, currently serving as the head of Walmart’s Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and Canada region, will succeed Doug McMillon, who was named CEO of Walmart on Nov 25. McMillon succeeded Mike Duke and will join the company’s board effective immediately, whereas Duke will continue to serve as the chairman of the board executive committee and will stay as an advisor to McMillon for one year. Both Cheesewright and McMillon will assume their positions on Feb 1, 2014. Walmart will announce the successor of Cheesewright later.
Cheesewright, aged 51, has been associated with the company since 1999 and has more than 25 years of experience across the international retail and manufacturing sectors. He has in-depth understanding of the company’s business segments. He also has leadership experience in the company as he has served as the chief operating officer for both Walmart Canada and Asda (Walmart’s UK operations). Before joining Walmart, Cheesewright held leadership positions with Mars Confectionery in the United Kingdom.
Cheesewright, as the CEO of Walmart International, is expected to employ better strategies according to the changing demand scenario in order to revive performance in some overseas markets where it has stumbled.
The company has a significant exposure in the international markets, which makes it the largest retailer in the world. The company has approximately 8,500 stores in 15 countries, under 55 different names. Walmart also continues to expand internationally especially in the emerging markets through accretive acquisitions, new store growth and positive comparable store sales. However, Walmart has been witnessing sluggish growth in the past few quarters owing to difficult economic environment and changing consumer behavior. The economic strains in the U.S. and abroad are likely to pressurize low-income shoppers for the rest of fiscal 2014.