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To take on Amazon, Walmart is streamlining its retail and web teams

Can the brick-and-mortar retailer become a tech company?

AWXII - Day 1
President and CEO of Walmart eCommerce U.S. Marc Lore (r)
Mike Pont/Getty Images for AWXII
Jason Del Rey has been a business journalist for 15 years and has covered Amazon, Walmart, and the e-commerce industry for the last decade. He was a senior correspondent at Vox.

If Walmart is going to better compete with Amazon, its stores are going to have to become a real advantage — not unwanted baggage.

That was the unspoken message behind an executive shuffle that the country’s biggest physical retailer announced internally on Friday. As part of the changes, Walmart is broadening the roles of two key executives, giving them new oversight on both the company’s U.S. e-commerce websites and its stores.

Jeremy King, previously the chief technology officer of Walmart’s e-commerce operation in the U.S., will now oversee technology teams for Walmart’s physical stores in addition to its online stores, the company’s U.S. e-commerce CEO Marc Lore said in a memo to staff.

At the same time, Tony Rogers, previously chief marketing officer for Walmart U.S. stores, will now also head up marketing for and, the young online megastore founded by Lore that Walmart purchased last year for $3.3 billion.

Amid a slew of other shuffles, the company announced the departure of Michael Bender, the e-commerce division’s chief operating officer. Walmart said earlier in the week that its chief information officer, Karenann Terrell, was also exiting.

“We were starting to see our stores and eCommerce teams solving many of the same problems and now we can remove what might’ve become more duplication in the future,” Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said in a separate memo.

“I know change isn’t always easy,” he added. “But, I’m certain our future success is partially dependent on becoming more of a technology company in our stores and clubs and everywhere else the customer sees us.”

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