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Wal-Mart (WMT) Appoints Tony Rogers as US Marketing Head

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Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.WMT has appointed Tony Rogers as its new marketing head of the U.S. as the retailer struggles to pull itself out of a sales slump in the region and attract new customers.

Rogers will take the position from mid-January, the Bentonville, AR-based company said in a statement. Rogers has been serving at Wal-Mart for a decade and recently worked as chief marketing officer for Wal-Mart in China. Before joining Wal-Mart, he worked at PepsiCo Inc. PEP and was responsible for marketing of the Frito-Lay division.

Rogers is replacing Stephen Quinn, who announced his retirement earlier this month. Per media reports, Quinn, has decided to retire at the end of January. Quinn, aged 56, has been associated with Wal-Mart for almost a decade and led the company's rebranding in 2008. He has helped to develop the current logo and slogan, "save money, live better." Before joining Wal-Mart in 2005, Quinn also held various positions at PepsiCo, Quaker Oats, Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble Co. and Nortel.

Quinn's retirement on Dec 11 follows the retirement of Charles Holley from the position of chief financial officer ("CFO") in October.

However, the recent shuffling of posts comes in the face of sluggish earnings. Further, Wal-Mart is facing intense competition on all fronts, ranging from dollar stores to the traditional grocery store chains and online business. It is also trying to keep pace with the rapidly changing behavior of shoppers.

Wal-Mart also anticipates huge expenses over the near term. In an effort to compete with the biggest online retailer, Amazon.com, Inc. AMZN and to improve customer service, Wal-Mart is aggressively investing in its e-commerce business. The company has already pledged to spend $1 billion to raise employees' wages and give them extra training, which has raised the expense burden of the retailer. Higher labor costs along with the company's efforts to overhaul its stores and invest in its online operations have weighed on its earnings.

Nevertheless, Wal-Mart has strong fundamentals and expects Rogers to attract higher-income shoppers and figure out ways for the discounter to engage with its customers. Wal-Mart has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Another well ranked retailer is The Kroger Co. KR , also holding a Zacks Rank #2.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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