John Fleming, the chief merchandising officer of Walmart has resigned. His resignation was announced in a memo to employees from Bill Simon, who was named president and chief executive officer of Walmart this past week. He was the architect of the retailers recent remerchandising strategy “Win Play Show” and a former Target executive. He had been with Walmart a little more than 10 years, the last five as its CMO. His remerchandising strategy and SKU rationalization was at the heart of the Project Impact initiative
According to the memo Fleming “made a personal decision to leave the company.”
According to a Wall Street Journal article on the subject:
Fleming spent 10 years with Wal-Mart and played a notable role in overseeing product selection and relationships with vendors at the company, which had more than $400 billion in sales last year. He is leaving Aug. 1 for what Wal-Mart said are personal reasons.
Fleming, who joined the company in 2000 as chief merchant of Walmart.com, had a rocky track record, including a failed attempt to take the Wal-Mart’s brand upscale in 2005, said Deborah Weinswig, retail analyst at Citigroup.
Fleming’s departure gives newly appointed Chief Executive Bill Simon “the opportunity to set a new course for Wal-Mart’s merchandising organization, which, in turn, could lead to improvement in apparel and home,” Weinswig said.
Jack Sinclair, executive vice president and general manager of grocery, will lead food and health and wellness merchandising, Simon said, while John Westling will lead general merchandise merchandising while the company searches for a replacement for Fleming.
With this latest change in the worlds the mega retailers ranks it will be interesting to discover both the short-term and long-term impact on their Private Brand initiatives.