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DSN Women Leaders 2014: Jody Pinson, Walmart U.S.
Jody Pinson started her career with Walmart 24 years ago. Her father was in the retail industry as well. So, you could say it’s in her blood.
Pinson’s journey began as a cashier at Sam’s Club while she was in college, and today she serves as VP of beauty for Walmart U.S., with responsibilities that include developing merchandising strategies, managing supplier relationships and maintaining operational alignment for more than 4,000 stores, and managing a team of six buyers.
The beauty universe and retail landscape are constantly evolving, but one of the biggest and newest projects to hit Pinson’s desk is the recent launch of the Walmart Beauty Box, a seasonal collection of sample-sized products that customers can receive by paying only the $5 shipping fee.
Clearly, Pinson plays a vital role within Walmart’s beauty business, but with strong values and the right work-life balance, Pinson has shown that one can, as they say, have it all.
“In my opinion, the key to finding the right balance is understanding what works for me and my family, which will be different for everyone,” Pinson told DSN. “I love to wake up my kids in the morning and get their day started with a hug and kiss. I’m also lucky to have a true partner in my husband, Greg. He’s supportive of my career and understanding when I have to travel or work later than planned. One of the greatest compliments he’s given me is for being present in the moment when I’m at home.”
What’s the secret to her success? Pinson admits that she has a curious spirit and a fierce competitive streak — she loves to win — but she’s quick to give credit to the many mentors she’s encountered throughout her career.
“Early in my career, I had the opportunity to work with a great store operator, Gary Rains, [who] taught me how to be an operator. He also taught me how to challenge people to reach their full potential [and to] believe in others. I still try to walk the stores with him once a year, and I’m still learning from him. In merchandising, I worked for Theresa Barrera-Shaw. The most important lesson she’s taught me is that perceptions are people’s reality. If it’s not the perception I wanted, work to change it! Don’t complain, and be a problem solver. It’s in your control,” Pinson said.
“[And] John Westling Sr. was very instrumental in my career development. He was a great teacher about the Walmart culture, the everyday low price strategy and P&L management.”
To view the full DSN Women Leaders 2014 report, click here.