Walmart (WMT) – Get Report shares slipped lower Friday after a softer-than-expected reading of U.S. retail sales and news that its head of e-commerce will retire later this month.
Walmart said Marc Lore, an executive vice president and head of the retailer’s U.S. e-commerce division, will step down on January 31, but remain as a strategic advisor to the group until the end of September.
Lore, who joined Walmart in 2016 as part of the retailer’s $3.3 billion purchase of Jet.com, has been credited with re-shaping Walmart’s online sales effort, which has been a crucial component to its earnings growth over the whole of the coronavirus pandemic, with third quarter transactions rising 79% and adding around 570 basis points to the overall comparable sales total.
“Following the Jet.com transaction, we unified the Jet.com team with Walmart.com. Over the past couple of years, we have unified our store and eCommerce teams which better enables us to create one brand experience for our customers,” Walmart said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
“That was completed in 2020 and so our Walmart U.S. segment has been operating and continues to operate as an omni-channel business. After Mr. Lore retires on January 31, 2021, the U.S. business, including all the aspects of US retail eCommerce, will continue to report to John Furner, Executive Vice President, President and Chief Executive Officer, Walmart U.S., beginning on February 1, 2021,” the statement added.
Walmart shares were marked 1.8% lower in early trading Friday following news of Lore’s departure to change hands at $144.30 each.
Shares were also pressured by a weaker-than-expected reading of U.S. retail sales, which fell 0.7% over the month of December to $540.9 billion.
Lore’s retirement marks the second major departure of an e-commerce executive for Walmart this year, following Jamie Iannone’s move to the CEO role at online marketplace EBay Inc. (EBAY) – Get Report in August.