Walmart makes merchandising moves
BENTONVILLE, Ark. — More than a dozen executives in Walmart’s merchandising organization, including several with key healthcare responsibilities, will begin the new fiscal year with different responsibilities following a restructuring announced on Thursday.
An internal announcement from Duncan Mac Naughton, Walmart’s chief merchandising and marketing officer detailed the moves involving executives with responsibilities for food, consumables, health and wellness, general merchandise, merchandise execution and private label.
“We’re coming off a strong year and beginning our new fiscal year with accelerating momentum with every part of our business focused on being even more responsive to our customers,” said Mac Naughton said in an internal announcement. “These moves strengthen our merchant talent and capabilities across the globe, and this is a testament to the strength we have in our business.”
Among the notable changes were:
- In the health and wellness area, Carmen Bauza was named SVP of OTC health and wellness. She fills the roll previously occupied by Scott McCall and will report to Dr. John Agwunobi, president of health and wellness. Bauza currently serves as VP of beauty and personal care.
- John Aden was named to the new role as EVP of merchandise services. His new responsibilities include replenishment, merchandise execution, small formats and supplier diversity.
- Assuming Aden’s previous responsibilities as EVP of general merchandise is Steve Bratspies. He assumes responsibility for entertainment, toys, seasonal, sporting goods, automotive, hardware, paint, stationery, crafts and fabric. Bratspies joined Walmart in 2006, initially as a SVP of marketing and most recently served as SVP of dry grocery.
- Laura Phillips was named SVP of entertainment after previously serving as SVP of toys, seasonal and celebrations, and will report to Bratspies.
- Moving into Phillips prior position will be Scott McCall. He currently serves as SVP of health and wellness, but earlier in his Walmart career, which began in 1993, he was responsible for toys. He too will report to Bratspies.
- Rejoining Sam’s Club in a new capacity as SVP of merchandise business services is Seong Ohm. She currently serves as SVP of entertainment, but previously working in Sam’s merchandising and also spent time at Walmart’s Japanese subsidiary Seiyu.
- Shipping off to Walmart’s Brazilian subsidiary is Steve Breen. He currently serves as SVP of snacks and beverages and will become chief merchandising office of Walmart Brazil.
- Filling Breen’s roles is Ashley Buchanan who was promoted to SVP of snacks and beverages from his current role as VP of meals, condiments and specialty.
Anytime Walmart begins shuffling the deck within its merchandise organization it tends to have ripple effects and that is the case with the latest round of moves. Accordingly, Mac Naughton said the company is looking to strategically align its fresh categories. That means Scott Neal is being elevated to the role of SVP produce, meat and seafood after previously serving as VP of meat and seafood and will report to EVP of food Jack Sinclair. As a result, of the realignment and elevation of Neal, other executives finding themselves in new roles include:
- DeDe Priest was named SVP of deli, bakery, dairy and frozen.
- Assuming Priest’s prior dry grocery responsibilities is Matt Kistler who was named SVP of dry grocery. He currently serves as SVP of merchandise execution.
- Taylor Smith is being promoted to SVP of merchandise execution to assume Kistler’s responsibilities from his current roles VP of baby. He will report to John Aden.
- Responsibility for the baby business now falls to Jane Ewing who was named SVP after joining Walmart international last fall after a 20 year career with Diageo PLC.
In addition to the merchandising moves, Walmart also made several changes that are reflective of new sourcing initiatives. For example, Michelle Gloeckler was given new responsibility for a sourcing organization that will focus on U.S. sourcing and manufacturing. She will maintain her current responsibilities as SVP of home. Aiding Gloeckler will be Greg Hall who was named VP of U.S. sourcing and manufacturing. He will report to Gloeckler and most recently served as VP of marketing for Walmart.com.
U.S. lags other developed countries in health, life expectancy, report finds
WASHINGTON — A new report gives low marks to the United States in the health of its citizens, finding that Americans have higher rates of injury and disease and die sooner than their counterparts in other developed countries.
The report, conducted by the non-profit National Academies with sponsorship from the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Health and Human Services, found a disadvantage at all ages from birth to age 75 years even among college-educated Americans with health insurance, higher incomes and healthy behaviors.
"We were struck by the gravity of these findings," Virginia Commonwealth University professor of family medicine and chairman of the panel that assembled the report Steven Woolf said. "Americans are dying and suffering at rates that we know are unnecessary because people in other high-income countries are living longer lives and enjoying better health. What concerns our panel is why, for decades, we have been slipping behind."
The report compares the United States with 16 affluent democracies, including Canada, Australia, Japan and several countries in western Europe, placing the United States at or near the bottom in terms of infant mortality and low birth weight, injuries and homicides, teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections, prevalence of HIV and AIDS, drug-related deaths, obesity and diabetes, heart disease, chronic lung disease and disability. Many of these conditions, the report found disproportionately affect children and adolescents, and the United States has had the highest infant mortality rate of any high-income country for decades while also ranking poorly in premature birth and the proportion of children who live to age 5 years.
While the United States has long spent more on health care per capita than any other country, flaws in the healthcare system were not the sole contributor to the problem, nor is the country’s overall disadvantage the result of problems concentrated among the poor and uninsured. For example, the report found Americans more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors such as heavy caloric intake, and the country lags others in educating young people while showing relatively high rates of poverty and income inequality.
The report recommended an intensified effort to pursue national health objectives, including an outreach program to alert the public about the country’s health disadvantage and encourage a discussion about its implications, while also recommending collection of data and research to better understand factors responsible for the problem.
"Research is important, but we should not wait for more data before taking action because we already know what to do," Woolf said. "If we fail to act, the disadvantage will continue to worsen, and our children will face shorter lives and greater rates of illness than their peers in other rich nations."
Safeway employees donated more than 1 million volunteer hours in 2012
PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway on Thursday announced that its employees gave more than 1 million hours of volunteer service to their neighborhoods and communities in 2012 – surpassing the company’s goal for the second consecutive year and reinforcing a long-standing culture of volunteerism.
"We are proud of and thankful for our employees who chose to make a difference in their community in 2012," stated Larree Renda, Safeway EVP and chair of The Safeway Foundation. "The response and gratitude we have received from charities and other organizations that benefit from our employees’ volunteer efforts show we are making a visible and tangible impact in communities we serve.
2012 marks the second year Safeway’s 175,000 employees contributed more than 1 million hours of volunteer service. While volunteerism had long been part of Safeway’s culture, the company undertook a formal initiative in 2010 to build on efforts already underway and assist employees who wanted to find activities and organizations that best suit their interests and talents.
Through its volunteer initiative, Safeway set out to encourage additional volunteer efforts and recognize employees who give a significant amount of time to various causes. Through a partnership with Volunteer Match, an organization that provides businesses with Web-based solutions to facilitate and track volunteer engagement at local and national levels, Safeway employees can find volunteer opportunities in their communities that meet their specific interests, talents and availability.
Examples of volunteer activities performed by Safeway employees include participating in charity half-marathons/walkathons, coaching little league sports teams, leading park and marine cleanup days, preparing hot meals at food pantries, helping the needy obtain social services and remodeling homes for people with disabilities.