Chutes & Ladders: Walmart US taps new CEO; Aldi co-founder dies at 94

Welcome to this week's Chutes & Ladders, our roundup of hirings and firings throughout the industry. Please send the good wordor the badfrom your shop to Laura Heller at [email protected] and we will feature it here at the end of each week.


> Walmart China President and CEO Greg Foran will be stepping up to the plate as president and CEO of Walmart U.S. after Bill Simon, current U.S. president and CEO, announced his coming retirement in a July 24 company statement. Foran will take over the position on August 9, reporting directly to Walmart President and CEO Doug McMillon. Meanwhile, Simon will remain available for consultation in the next six months to ensure a seamless transition. 

Foran joined Walmart in October 2011 and has 35 years of retail experience. He was named president and CEO of Walmart China in 2012. His appointment follows a number of new executive shifts that have occurred under the leadership of McMillon, and Simon's retirement comes after eight years with the company. Press Release


> Aldi supermarket chain co-founder Karl Albrecht passed away July 16 at the age of 94. A spokesman in Essen, Germany, Albrecht's town of residence, said a small funeral for close family members was held July 21. Albrecht was ranked by Forbes as Germany's richest person, and his fortune reportedly amounted to nearly $26 billion. Albrecht stepped down from his hands-on role as company head in 1994 and left the advisory board in 2002.

The Albrecht family did not issue a statement about his death and has maintained staunch privacy since 1971, when Theo Albrecht was kidnapped for 17 days and released only after a ransom of approximately $3 million was paid. Karl and Theo Albrecht owned two respective branches of the store they co-founded together, and Karl's branch, Aldi Sued, has stores in southern Germany, the U.S., the U.K., Australia and eastern Europe. The Aldi Sued brand encompasses more than 4,860 stores and its 2013 revenue was nearly $51 billion. Story

> Tesco CEO Philip Clarke announced plans to step down as profit warnings for the company continue. Tesco reported that quarterly comp-store sales dropped 3.7 percent, adding that Clarke will be leaving Britain's largest retailer. He will be replaced by Dave Lewis, president of personal care at Unilever and a non-executive director at BskyB. Clarke had acted as CEO since 2011 when sales began to continuously decline. He will step down October 1 after 40 years with the company. Story

> Mario Grauso was recently promoted from COO to president of Loblaw's Joe Fresh brand. The announcement came July 21, and Grauso will continue to report to Joe Mimran, president of Mimran & Associates and creative director of Joe Fresh. As president of Joe Fresh, Grauso will oversee business strategy, operations, marketing, international development, merchandising, sourcing and design functions. Story

> Appliance, electronics and furniture retailer hhgregg announced that CMO Julie Lyle has been named the 2015 chairperson for the Global Retail Marketing Association Advisory Board, which caters to C-level executives of worldwide retailers. As chairperson, Lyle will lead the GRMA, playing a decisive role in the development of strategic initiatives. Lyle succeeds Brian Beitler, executive VP and CMO of David's Bridal who acted as chairman from 2012 to 2014. Press Release

> CEO Michael Kowalski will be retiring from Tiffany & Co next year after 31 years of service with the upscale jeweler. Kowalski, 62, joined the company in 1983 and became CEO in 1999. On April 1 of 2015 he will be succeeded by Frederic Cumenal, Tiffany's president who joined the company approximately four years ago and was given a newly created seat on the company's board in September 2013. Story

> Express CEO Michael Weiss announced that he will retire as CEO on January 30, 2015 when the company's fiscal year ends. Weiss has been with the company since 1980 when it was a small eight-store operation. Express, which now has 600 store locations, will replace Weiss with current president David Kornberg, who will take on Weiss's role as an addition to his current position. Kornberg joined Express in 1999 after working at Marks & Spencer and was named president in 2012. Weiss, 73, will remain with Express as nonexecutive chairman of the board. Story

> CVS's former president of pharmacy, Mark Crosby, has been named president, North America, of Office Depot. As president, Crosby will be a member of Office Depot's executive committee and leadership team while he reports directly to Roland Smith, chairman and CEO of Office Depot. Crosby has an extensive resume in the retail industry, with 30 years of experience at a number of leading retail chains such as Macy's, where he filled a number of executive roles. Press Release

Global brand consultancy Interbrand announced July 23 that Lee Carpenter is leaving his current position as CEO, North America. Carpenter had been CEO, North America, since 2007 and stepped down from his full-time role on July 23. He will continue to advise Interbrand in the next three months but said he is shifting his focus to his personal life. Josh Feldmeth, who leads Interbrand's New York, San Francisco and Toronto offices, has been promoted to succeed Carpenter. Story