Walmart on Tuesday said it has appointed Suresh Kumar, an IIT Madras graduate and former Google executive, as chief technology officer and chief development officer.He holds a Bachelor of Technology from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, and a PhD in engineering from Princeton University.
His appointment comes as Walmart is undertaking major investments in its e-commerce business to compete more effectively with Amazon.
Suresh Kumar, who will report directly to Walmart CEO Doug McMillon, will join the retail behemoth from July 8. He will be based out of the company’s Sunnyvale, California, office. The 54-year-old will fill in the shoes of Jeremy King, Walmart’s longtime CTO, who left the company in March.
Walmart’s Chief Information Officer Clay Johnson will report to Kumar, as will the technology chiefs at Walmart’s main operating units — US, international and Sam’s Club.
“The technology of today and tomorrow enables us to serve our customers and associates in ways that weren’t previously possible. We want to take full advantage of those opportunities," said McMillon.
“Suresh has a unique understanding of the intersection of technology and retail, including supply chain, and has deep experience in advertising, cloud and machine learning. And, he has a track record of working in partnership with business teams to drive results."
Suresh Kumar was earlier associated with Google where he served as vice president and general manager of display, video, app ads and analytics.
Before joining Google, he was the corporate vice president of Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure and operations.
He was also associated with Amazon in various leadership roles, which included vice president of technology for retail systems and operations, and led Amazon’s retail supply chain and inventory management systems. Before Amazon, he was a research staff member at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center. Kumar brings a total of over 25 years of technology leadership experience.
"Walmart is one of the great success stories in how a company evolves over time to serve the changing needs of its customers, and today, it is in the midst of an exciting digital transformation," Kumar said.
"With over 11,000 stores, a high-growth e-commerce business and more than two million associates worldwide, the potential for technology to help people at scale is unparalleled," Kumar added. He will replace Jeremy King, who left Amazon in March.
*With Agency Inputs