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Walmart's Head of E-Commerce Is Retiring This Month

By Rhian Hunt - Jan 15, 2021 at 3:11PM

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The architect of the company's digital strategy is exiting, and the stock dips.

The president and CEO of e-commerce at retail giant Walmart, Inc. (WMT -7.05%) has announced his retirement on Jan. 31, 2021, Barron's reports, sending the company's shares down approximately 1% in Friday trading. The outgoing e-commerce head, Marc Lore, joined Walmart's executive team in September 2016 when Walmart acquired his e-commerce site for $3.3 billion.

In the 8-K current report to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) describing the retirement, Walmart notes Lore will remain present at the company through September in an advisory position.

Two businessmen shaking hands.

Image source: Getty Images.

During 2020, Walmart continued strongly developing its e-commerce capabilities, in some cases directly challenging online retail titan Amazon (AMZN -7.09%) with its Walmart+ subscription service, for example. Walmart's related initiatives include expanding the options for online grocery orders with a planned pilot for outdoor "smart box" coolers where purchased groceries can be securely placed when the customer isn't at home. 

While investors are bidding down Walmart's stock following the announcement of Marc Lore's retirement, and some news outlets are speculating on who might replace him, Walmart has not indicated a successor. Lore's was permanently shut down by Walmart in May 2020.

In today's 8-K filing, the company notes during "the past couple of years, we have unified our store and eCommerce teams which better enables us to create one brand experience for our customers" -- a process it says "was completed in 2020."

The filing also says that, following Lore's retirement, "all the aspects of US retail eCommerce, will continue to report to John Furner, Executive Vice President, President and Chief Executive Officer, Walmart U.S." This might appear to suggest Lore worked for the retailer while integrating into Walmart e-commerce. With that integration completed, his position is now considered redundant.

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