Reliance Retail hires former Wal-Mart executives: Report

Reliance Retail hires former Wal-Mart executives: Report

Mumbai: The retail subsidiary of Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries has appointed two former Wal-Mart executives to run the operations, the Economic Times reported on Monday, ahead of an expected opening up of the retail sector.

Rob Cissell has been named chief executive and Shawn Gray as chief operating officer, the newspaper said, citing an email by Reliance to senior company officials. The executives were formerly with Wal-Mart China, it said.

Reliance Retail could not immediately be reached for comment.

A panel of top Indian officials is likely to meet this month to decide on allowing foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail, two senior government sources told Reuters on Friday, an indication New Delhi wants to move ahead on a long-delayed reform initiative.

In June, Reliance chairman Mukesh Ambani told shareholders the company planned to invest aggressively in retail and would launch a ‘cash-and-carry,’ or wholesale business.

The company is sharpening its focus on consumer businesses including retail, telecom and insurance because it wants to balance its portfolio and lower its dependence on core business and will see many senior-level hires across these three businesses, a company insider told the Economic Times.

He said Reliance had no plans to sell out or form a joint venture with a foreign partner if food and grocery retail is opened to foreign companies, the paper said.