Briefing

Walmart Canada appoints new CEO amid tepid Canadian retail market

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Horacio Barbeito, who has been president and CEO of Walmart Argentina and Chile since 2015, will take over in October. He will replace Lee Tappenden, a 23-year Walmart veteran who had been CEO of Walmart Canada since 2016. (The Logic)

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Talking point: The executive shuffle comes on the heels of Walmart having lowered its projections for international sales growth earlier in August from five per cent to between three and four per cent, largely to account for sluggish Canadian business. Languid consumer spending has been a trend in Canada for more than a year, including a 0.3 per cent drop in January and flattening sales through the first half of 2019. Walmart is also increasingly competing with Amazon in the digital space—the company recently introduced an annual membership, as well as a same-day delivery model for groceries. Amazon expanded same-day delivery for Prime members to 13 new cities across Canada earlier in 2019, bringing the total number of cities and towns with the service to 32. Barbeito’s professional experience at Walmart has all been in Latin America—in his 25-year career with Walmart, he rose through various leadership roles, including in the supply chain and merchandising divisions. Barbeito has said that diversity and inclusion—especially women’s economic empowerment—are important values of his.