Albertsons Cos. has appointed Gautam Kotwal as EVP and chief data and analytics officer, a newly created position responsible for driving value, creating competitive differentiation and designing personalized shopper experiences. Kotwal will be based at the company’s campus in Pleasanton, Calif., and will report directly to Albertsons President and COO Jim Donald.
The new role signifies the Boise, Idaho-based retailer’s mission to “turbocharge” its digital and loyalty platforms with an eye on additional opportunities to cross-sell and upsell, said Shane Sampson, the retailer’s chief marketing and merchandising officer, during a presentation last week. Albertsons is looking to digital initiatives as an element in a plan to increase same-store sales by 1.5% to 2% this year.
“Our omnichannel platform is something our organization is deeply committed to, and to best serve our customers who shop each channel, we must begin to look at data across not only our customer base but also within our company to further innovate within our industry,” Donald said in a statement. “Gautam possesses a unique blend of technical skill, boundless enthusiasm and a commitment to developing people and teams, all of which will serve him well in this new role. I’m excited to have Gautam join our company and formalize our data and analytics efforts under his leadership so that we can better engage our customers, no matter where they shop with us.”
Kotwal most recently served as VP of analytics, data platform and data science engineering for Kohl’s Department Stores over the last two years, where he built the retailer’s BigData team to enable access to data and science insights and drive the company’s innovation.
Kotwal first joined Kohl’s in 2012 as director of innovation, and later served as director of innovation and data science. Previously, he worked at Netflix, where he began as engineering manager and was later promoted to director of engineering, responsible for Netflix Streaming test strategy, vision, test architecture and test automation.