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Systrom out, Easterbrook in as Walmart thinks global

Walmart has nominated McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook to its board as it looks to bolster its global business operations.

The US retailer’s UK business, Asda, has been hit by buoyant discounters Aldi and Lidl and a revived Tesco. In January, Judith McKenna, a British executive, became president and CEO of Walmart International, the company’s second-largest operating segment. 

Also from the UK, Easterbrook, will replace Kevin Systrom who is the co-founder and CEO of Instagram, after it was mutually agreed Systrom would not stand for re-election. He joined the board in 2014 and served as chair of the technology and eCommerce committee. 

“We appreciate the insights and perspectives Kevin provided that helped guide our approach to technology and eCommerce and shape transformations within both that are underway,” said chairman of the board of directors, Greg Penner. “Given his responsibilities leading Instagram and his new commitments following the arrival of his first child, we respect his decision to divide his time between those two important priorities and wish him well.”

The comings and goings were announced as part of Walmart’s 2018 Annual Report, Global Responsibility Report, an update on its Global Ethics and Compliance Programme and filing of its Proxy Statement in preparation for the annual shareholders’ meeting on 30 May.

“We’ve had an exciting year. We made great progress accelerating innovation to save customers both money and time,” said Walmart president and CEO, Doug McMillon in a letter to shareholders, associates and customers. “In our stores, we’re digitising experiences to make it easier for customers to shop and more efficient for associates to manage inventory and perform routine tasks." 

"Our eCommerce business continues to scale as we launch new ways to enhance the customer experience. We’re moving faster, getting stronger and we have good momentum throughout the business.”

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