Walmart.com names Fernando Madeira as new head as predecessor leaves for Five Below

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NEW YORK, N.Y. – Walmart.com U.S. CEO and President Joel Anderson is leaving at the end of the month to take a job as president of discount-store chain Five Below Inc.

Anderson, who was in his role for three years, will be succeeded by Fernando Madeira, who will be taking on a bigger role, according to a memo sent to Wal-Mart Stores Inc. employees.

Madeira, who is currently president and CEO of Latin America at Walmart.com, will be assuming a newly created role leading Walmart.com in the U.S., Latin America and any other growth areas.

Under Madiera’s leadership, Brazil’s business has grown twice as fast as the market, while increasing traffic four-fold, according to the memo.

Wal-Mart said Anderson’s last day at the world’s largest retailer will be June 20.

Madiera, who was based in Sao Paolo, Brazil, will move to San Bruno, Calif., where the global e-commerce operations are based. He will continue to report to Neil Ashe, president and CEO of Wal-Mart’s global e-commerce division.

Walmart.com’s online sales rose more than 30 per cent to $10 billion for the year ended Feb. 1. That’s still a small part of the company’s $473 billion in sales, excluding membership fees to its Sam’s Clubs.

But Wal-Mart is pushing to innovate in the e-commerce area and to create a seamless shopping experience for customers who are increasingly jumping back and forth to the stores and their mobile phones to shop and research.

Wal-Mart’s new CEO Doug McMillon, who took the helm in February, vowed Wal-Mart would pick up the pace in technology in his address Friday at the company’s annual shareholders meeting in Fayetteville, Ark.

“Wal-Mart can bring together our stores with new digital commerce capabilities to help customers save money, save time and have access to what they want and need,” McMillon told shareholders Friday. “The opportunity is enormous.”

Wal-Mart has more than tripled the number of items it sells online to more than 7 million from 2 million 18 months ago. It is also testing online grocery delivery and other services.

Wal-Mart has a ripe audience. According to new data revealed to reporters at a separate conference last week, 65 per cent of its customers have smartphones, while that figure is 80 per cent for those under age 35. Half of Wal-Mart smartphone users have used the device in its stores to assist with shopping, company officials said.

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