Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
) U.S. operations' Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Bill Simon has
stepped down. Wal-Mart, however, did not cite any reason for his
resignation. Shares declined on the news.
Greg Foran, current President and CEO of Wal-Mart Asia, has been
promoted and will take over the responsibility from Simon as CEO,
Foran joins Wal-Mart U.S. when the division is in doldrums. The
division has been struggling since the past few quarters due to a
challenging retail environment. The economic strains in the U.S.
are pressurizing Wal-Mart's low-income shoppers in fiscal 2015.
Wal-Mart anticipates macroeconomic headwinds like reduction in
government benefits, higher taxes, tighter credit and higher group
health care costs to impact fiscal 2015 results.
Under Bill Simon's leadership, Wal-Mart U.S had embarked on a
turnaround strategy to boost its top line by focusing on everyday
low cost products. He also initiated the company's contribution to
the revitalization of the U.S. economy and pioneered the 'Made in
U.S.A manufacturing philosophy. However, his initiative failed to
bring any fruit to the company's struggling U.S. division.
It remains to be seen how the new CEO improves Walmart's
business in the U.S. Foran is expected to strengthen the
growing food business. Moreover, he is expected to employ
strategies according to the changing demand scenario in order to
enhance the performance of the region.
Foran, 35, has been part of Wal-Mart since Oct 2011. He was made
President and CEO of Wal-Mart China in Mar 2012. Under his
leadership, Wal-Mart China made significant progress through
several strategic investments in supply chain and store portfolio
during his tenures.
Foran has an extensive retail experience. Prior to joining
Wal-Mart, he served as the managing director of supermarkets,
liquor and petrol at Woolworths, the leading retailer in Australia
and New Zealand; general manager of Big W (Woolworth's leading
discount store business) as well as general manager of Dick Smith
Wal-Mart carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked
retailers include The Fresh Market Inc.
and The Kroger Co. (
), both holding a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Another stock in the retail
sector worth considering is Dollar Tree Inc. (
) carrying a Zacks Rank #2.
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