Leadership Highlights from Shareholders 2017

June 2, 2017
Walmart started swimming upstream long before the digital revolution, and some of our key leaders confirmed at the 47th annual Shareholders meeting that this business strategy is still working for us today.

There are earthshaking changes happening in retail, but we believe that by staying aggressive, being nimble, moving with speed and taking risks, we can stay ahead of the competition and create a better shopping experience for our customers – both in stores and online.

Greg Foran and Jacqui Canney speak at the 2017 Shareholders meeting

We have an advantage no one else has – our amazing associates, said Greg Foran, president and chief executive officer, Walmart U.S. When we create opportunity and empower them to succeed, we delight our customers.

Jacqui Canney, executive vice president, Global People Division, noted that it all starts with three things: hiring the best, providing training and experiences so our associates can be their best, and offering limitless career paths to fit every person.

Judith McKenna talking to an associate in the audience

“At Walmart, we’re finding new and different ways to serve customers by combining the passion of our people with the power of technology,” said Judith McKenna, EVP and chief operating officer, Walmart U.S.

Technology is helping us in so many ways. But the real difference maker has always been our people. “What if associates wanted to make a stop on their way home, deliver a dot-com order to a customer and earn a little more for doing it?” Judith asked.

“It’s an idea we wanted to explore more. So we’ve begun testing an associate delivery program in a few stores that gives our people that option,” she said. Associates can download an app and receive notices if there are customers along their route home who are waiting for an online order. If the associate wants to make the delivery, he or she can.

Marc Lore speaks to the crowd about Walmart's eCommerce initiatives during the 2017 Shareholders meeting

“I'm so excited about this!” exclaimed Marc Lore, president and CEO, Walmart eCommerce U.S. “Just imagine associates all over the world delivering orders to our customers on their way home from work. That could be a real game changer.”

Everything we do is with the customer in mind, and busy families in particular need shopping to be easy and enjoyable.

David Cheesewright and Gisel Ruiz speak at the 2017 Shareholders meeting

“By bringing together our fantastic e-commerce capabilities with our great stores, customers can shop in lots of ways,” said Gisel Ruiz, EVP of operations, Sam’s Club. “It’s what makes Walmart unique.”

David Cheesewright, president and CEO, Walmart International, offered a great example: the expansion of online grocery pickup in the U.S. “It’s a huge time saver for anyone with a busy schedule – especially a mom with small children. She can order online, choose the pickup time and location, and an associate will load everything in her car."

John Furner and Kathleen McLaughlin onstage at the 2017 Shareholders meeting

As we provide for our associates and customers today, we’re also planning for the future. And that means taking care of our suppliers and the planet. Supporting small and women-owned businesses has brought our customers and Sam’s Club members some really outstanding products, said Kathleen McLaughlin, senior vice president and chief sustainability officer.

We’re also working with our suppliers to remove a gigaton of greenhouse gas emissions from our supply chains by 2030.

“I'm so proud of this company,” said John Furner, president and CEO, Sam’s Club. “The work we do in stores, in clubs and online each and every day, all around the world, truly makes a difference.”

Doug McMillon speaking at the Walmart Shareholders 2017 Meeting

Doug McMillon, president and CEO of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., wrapped up the conversation. “Looking ahead, we will compete with technology but win with people. We will be people led and tech empowered. We will win because we are purpose driven with clear and meaningful values and an effective and resilient culture.

“It will be our humanity that drives our creativity, powers our competitive spirit and keeps us out in front.”