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Walmart.com names new CEO

Fernando Madeira

Fernando Madeira will succeed Joel Anderson as president and CEO of Walmart.com to help the retailer further a growth strategy focused on winning at the integration of physical and digital. Anderson left to become president of fast-growing teen and pre-teen retailer Five Below. 

Madeira is a relative newcomer to Walmart who spent the past two years as president and CEO of Walmart eCommerce Latin America and was based in Sao Paulo, Brazil. In his new role, he will retain those responsibilities and gain leadership responsibilities for Walmart’s U.S. e-commerce business and be based at the retailer’s digital headquarters in San Bruno, California. He will continue reporting to Walmart Global eCommerce president and CEO Neil Ashe.

“For those who’ve worked with Fernando, you know he is a high-energy leader focused on fostering creativity, innovation and building strong personal relationships to get results. Under his guidance, the Latin America eCommerce team has taken a customer-focused approach to business strategy and product development,” Ashe shared in an announcement distributed internally at Walmart. “We’ve seen Brazil grow twice as fast as the market, while increasing traffic four-fold. Fernando and his team have dramatically increased assortment, adding nearly one million SKUs, bringing new products from around the world and recently opening our fourth fulfillment center, making Walmart.com Brazil one of the largest e-commerce companies in the country. In other markets, they’ve leveraged sales and marketing efforts, driving triple-digit growth in Argentina, Chile and Mexico.”

Anderson, whose last day is June 20, served as president and CEO of Walmart.com since August 2011 and prior to that he spent four year with the retailer in a senior operations role. During his tenure, Walmart.com regularly enhanced site functionality and search capabilities, dramatically expanded its online product offering, brought new fulfillment capabilities online and launched key initiatives designed to leverage Walmart’s expansive store network.

“While I'm sorry to see Joel leave, this is a good opportunity for him,” Ashe said in reference to Anderson’s new role at Five Below. “Joel has played a strong role in growing our business, most recently supporting the roll-out of our new technology platform and in establishing the foundation for our U.S. eCommerce fulfillment network. Prior to joining eCommerce, Joel spent four years in the Walmart U.S. organization. Joel is leaving a strong Walmart.com team comprised of talented associates.”

Walmart expects to open soon its third dedicated online fulfillment center in Indiana to join other recently opened facilities in Texas and Pennsylvania. The company also fulfills orders from its conventional distribution centers and is growing its ship from store network beyond the current 50 stores. The retailer has long offered pick up in store capabilities buy more recently has launched a pilot concept called “tethering,” that involves shipping goods from supercenters to an expanding network of smaller stores in more remote areas for pick up by customers.

“We have one of the fastest growing e-commerce businesses in the world,” Ashe told attendees at Walmart’s shareholders’ meeting on June 6. Total Global eCommerce sales are projected to reach $13 billion this year compared to $10 billion last year and the seven million products the company currently offers is four times as many as 18 months ago, according to Ashe. The company does not disclose what percentage of those sales are from the U.S.

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