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    Marc Lore, Who Engineered Walmart’s Digital Transformation, To Step Down

    Marc Lore, the architect of Walmart Inc.’s digital ascent, responsible for accelerating growth by creating a seamless shopping experience across Walmart.com, stores and apps, will leave his role as president and CEO of Walmart U.S. e-commerce at the end of January.

    The move comes nearly five years after the retail giant acquired Lore’s startup e-commerce site, Jet.com for $3.3 billion, in what was widely seen as a bid to tap his e-commerce expertise, as well as his insight into Amazon, where Lore had worked with Jeff Bezos earlier in his career. At the time, Walmart, like most retailers, was looking for a way to compete with Amazon’s massive product range, delivery speed and prowess, and compelling Prime package for loyal customers.

    Lore will become a strategic advisor to Walmart through September, fulfilling a five-year obligation that began when the mass behemoth bought Jet.com. He’s believed to be in line for a payout of $150 million when his contractual obligations are fulfilled. His team will report to John Furner, CEO of Walmart U.S.

    Like several other tech visionaries, Lore has his work cut out for him. He plans to build a city of the future, an endeavor that likely won’t violate any non-compete clause, and hey, it sounds cool. Described as a city with the vibrancy, diversity and culture of New York City, the efficiency, safety and innovation of Tokyo, and the sustainability, governance, and social services of Sweden, Lore is passionate about the project.

    In a memo to employees today, Walmart chairman and CEO Doug McMillion said, “Marc’s leadership helped ensure we were positioned to respond to the demand driven by the pandemic this year. All of this progress is the result of good work from a lot of people, of course, but Marc’s expertise and aggressiveness have been game-changing. We have learned a lot from him. I have personally learned a lot from him.

    “Marc led the redesign of Walmart.com,” McMillon added. “He made the choice to shift all of our resources to Walmart.com rather than the original plan for two brands [Walmart and Jet.com], because he became convinced of the potential of the Walmart brand.”

    During Lore’s tenure, Walmart.com expanded its online assortment from around 10 million items to more than 80 million items, including adding thousands of new brands, expanded and transformed the e-commerce fulfillment network, and ramped up to same-day delivery on thousands of items and two-day delivery on millions of items, whereas only four years ago, the company didn’t even offer free two-day delivery.

    Walmart’s e-commerce sales rose nearly 80% year-over-year in the third quarter of 2020, as it continued to be one of the retail industry’s biggest success stories and a bellwether of consumer shopping trends during the Covid-19 pandemic.

    “I’m really proud of what we were able to do for our customers – our rapid growth in online Grocery, the new app experience, and next-day delivery are a few that I’m most proud of on that front,” Lore said in an interview. “It’s also been really great to see what’s possible when we look three-to-five years out. I think in-home delivery is a great example of what we can accomplish when we think big and innovate. And, of course I’m proud of our associates and all they do, now more than ever. It was an honor to serve as the executive champion for Walmart’s PRIDE associate resource group.”

    Walmart learned many things from Lore, and vice versa. “One of the most admirable traits of Walmart is everyone’s focus on the customer and how mission-driven they are,” he said. “I’m huge on the concept of being a missionary and Walmart has that nailed. For me personally, it was a real learning experience to work at Walmart’s scale.”

    A year after Lore joined Walmart, he said in an interview that he felt empowered in his role. “Doug and the board have been very trusting of me and the team to move fast,” Lore said. “The only way you can move fast is if you feel empowered. There’s not a lot of red tape in between getting things done. It actually feels very much like a start-up. We’re running fast. It’s only been a year and l think just looking back that we’ve been able to accomplish quite a bit.”

    “Marc’s tenure was marked by kind of a decentralization and more of a diffused model of leadership and operations to the point of extending to acquisitions and all of those tentacles,” said ” said Carol Spieckerman, president of Spieckerman Retail, noting that Walmart has been breaking through silos and consolidating operations to the point where there’s greater visibility between online and in-store.

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