Judith McKenna, who helped to lead Walmart’s comeback as its U.S. COO, has been promoted to president and CEO of the retailer's international division, effective Feb. 1.
McKenna will succeed David Cheesewright, who has been Walmart’s International CEO for the last four years but has expressed a desire to retire from a full-time role, the company said. Cheesewright will continue with Walmart through March, and will thereafter serve the company on specific projects on a limited basis.
McKenna has worked with Walmart U.S. since April 2014, when she joined as chief development officer with responsibility for projects including its small stores and the integration of digital commerce into physical stores. As U.S. COO, she helped lead and execute service initiatives such as the Clean, Fast and Friendly project that was instrumental in improving store conditions. She also championed the establishment of training academies for company employees helping to improve service at stores and reduce turnover.
Walmart did not immediately announce a successor as its U.S. COO.
McKenna’s career with Walmart began in 1996 at Asda, the company’s U.K. operation, where she served as COO and CFO. McKenna also served previously as EVP of strategy and international development for Walmart International. There, she led several areas, including international strategy, real estate, mergers and acquisitions, integration, global format development and purchase leverage.
“I’ve had the pleasure to work with Judith for many years and have seen first-hand her ability to lead strategic change, build relationships with our associates and strengthen our business,” Doug McMillon, Walmart’s CEO, said in a statement. “It has been inspiring to see her personal growth and the results she’s driven over the years. Her integrity, high expectations and passion for the business and our associates will ensure our continued success in International.”
Walmart’s International division serves more than 100 million customers every week in more than 6,200 retail units, operating outside the United States with 55 banners in 27 countries.
“Being chosen to lead Walmart International truly is an honor, and I can’t think of a more exciting time to be in this part of the business,” said McKenna. “I look forward to building upon our progress to improve the experience for our customers and associates around the world.”