Walmart shakes up international divisions

Walmart (NYSE:WMT) is shaking up the executive ranks of its international operations, ousting Andy Clarke, president and CEO of Asda, and shuffling executives in Canada and China.

Clarke departs after more than 20 years with Asda, the last six as CEO. He "has decided the timing is right to step aside from his role with the company," Walmart said in a statement. He will remain with the company through the end of July and stay on as an advisor through the remainder of 2016.

Andy Clarke will be replaced by Sean Clarke, who most recently headed up operations in China and held positions in Japan, Canada and the U.K., where he began his career at Asda in 1996.

Walmart has also appointed Roger Burnley as deputy CEO and COO of Asda when he rejoins the company in October 2016. Burnely helped integrate Asda following its acquisition by Walmart in 1999 and more recently served as retail and operations director at Sainsbury's.

"Actively managing our global business portfolio is a key element of our international strategy, and we must have the right talent in place to lead our businesses through times of change," said David Cheesewright, president and CEO of Walmart International. "Sean is one of our most experienced global executives, and through his leadership we will build upon the momentum of Project Renewal to reposition Asda in a very competitive marketplace. I'm also excited about Roger coming back to Asda, as we view him as a top talent and a future CEO."

Project Renewal is Walmart's recommitment to its value offering and low prices, a particularly difficult task in the U.K. where Aldi and Lidl have stepped up the competition.

Sean Clarke's move to Asda has Walmart shifting Dirk Van De Berghe, currently president and CEO of Walmart Canada, to take over leadership of the Walmart China business, effective August 22. In addition, Van De Berghe will also serve as regional president for the company's Asia business, including Walmart Japan.

Scott Price, currently president and CEO of Walmart Asia, will now solely have responsibilities of Chief Administrative Officer, Walmart International.

Walmart has yet to announce who will lead Walmart Canada.

Walmart is focused on returning the company to its position as the low-cost leader, adjusting prices in stores, closing experimental formats and realigning the executive ranks.

For more:
- see this Walmart announcement
- see this story in the Guardian
- see this Evening Standard story

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