Home >companies >people >Wal-Mart promotes Asia chief Greg Foran to head of US division

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s biggest retail chain, named Greg Foran chief executive officer of its US division after he served less than two months as head of the company’s Asia operations.

Foran, 53, will replace Bill Simon in the US CEO job starting 9 August, the Bentonville, Arkansas-based company said today in a statement. Foran has been in his current role since June, when he was elevated from CEO of the company’s China business.

Simon, 54, had been a contender to be CEO of the whole company before Wal-Mart picked Doug McMillon as its next leader. McMillon, who took the top job in February, was closer to the Walton family, which controls most of Wal-Mart’s shares, people familiar with the situation have said. Simon will remain available as a consultant for the next six months to help with the transition, Wal-Mart said on Thursday.

In taking over the US division, Foran will oversee a much larger piece of the business—though one that’s contending with sluggish growth. The US performance contributed to lower- than-projected sales and profit in Wal-Mart’s most recently reported quarter, which ended 30 April. At the time, Wal-Mart also forecast second-quarter profit that missed estimates. Earnings will be $1.15 to $1.25 a share, compared with the $1.28 predicted by analysts.

Wal-Mart shares have declined 2.2% this year. The stock rose less than 1% to $76.99 at the close in New York on Wednesday.

Woolworths background

Foran has 30 years of retail experience in operations, merchandising and marketing. He previously headed Woolworths Ltd’s supermarket division and held other senior roles at the Sydney-based company, including general manager of the Big W chain of discount stores.

The reshuffling follows the appointment of a new chief for Walmart.com last month and the promotion of Canadian CEO Shelley Broader to a job overseeing Europe, the Middle East and sub- Saharan African in May.

Last month, Wal-Mart also named board member Greg Penner to the new role of vice chairman, putting him in position to be a successor to chairman Rob Walton. Penner, 44, is Walton’s son-in-law and has served on the board since 2008. Bloomberg

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