Walmart names insider Latriece Watkins as US merchandising chief

(Reuters) – Walmart Inc appointed Latriece Watkins as its U.S. chief merchandising officer, according to a memo seen by Reuters on Friday, days after Charles Redfield stepped down from the role.

Watkins, who joined the company 24 years ago, has served in several roles across Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club. She was most recently the executive vice president of the Walmart U.S. consumables division. 

Last month, Walmart U.S. CEO John Furner wrote to associates that Redfield would step down and assume an advisory role supporting the U.S. business effective May 1.

Watkins’ appointment takes place at a time when consumer spending power has been reduced by high inflation, hurting Walmart’s business and leading the company to adopt a cautious stance on 2023.

“We have a rich history of strong leaders who embrace this constant change, set bold visions for our teams and best represent the humanity that is Walmart,” Furner wrote in the memo.

The Wall Street Journal had first reported the news on Friday.

(Reporting by Granth Vanaik in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)