SmartStore Business Intelligence Solutions, a cloud-based predictive analytics solutions provider, appointed long-time Walmart veteran Tom Coughlin to the role of executive advisor.
Coughlin has more than 40 years of retail experience, with background in predictive software, loss prevention, and corporate personnel training.
"Coughlin's legendary accomplishments and his deep operational knowledge will be a tremendous asset to our ongoing product development efforts," said Ken Claflin, SmartStore president. "His expertise will help us drive best practices both internally and in the field, so our clients can gain even more from our solution."
The new executive advisor joined Walmart in 1978 and was a close friend of Walmart founder Sam Walton. He started in the retailer's security division, then became VP of loss prevention. Rising through the ranks, Coughlin also served as VP of human resources and later as exec-VP and CEO of the flagship Walmart stores division from 1998 to 1999.
In 2002, Coughlin became a member of the Walmart board of directors and was named CEO of Sam's Club USA. "In just seven years, Sam's Club grew from only five clubs to more than 400, and from a couple hundred million to $18 billion in volume," Coughlin said.
After Sam's Club, Coughlin ran Walmart's specialty division for four years and then served as Walmart's COO before abruptly resigning in 2005. At the same time, allegations surfaced that he defrauded the company of roughly $500,000 by falsifying expense reports, then failing to pay taxes on the income. Coughlin plead guilty and spent 27 months under house arrest. Press Release