Walmart has hired Suresh Kumar as its new chief technology officer and chief development officer, according to a report.
Kumar will report directly to CEO Doug McMillon, and he will replace Jeremy King, who left in March to work at Pinterest.
Kumar worked at Google as a VP and general manager of video, display and analytics. At Microsoft, he served as a corporate vice president of cloud infrastructure and operations. He also worked for Amazon for 15 years in various senior positions.
The hire comes as Walmart is trying to position itself as more than just a grocery chain with low prices. As it aims to be seen as more of a technology company, it is going head to head with Amazon in numerous channels, including logistics, eCommerce and others.
“The technology of today and tomorrow enables us to serve customers and associates in ways that weren’t previously possible. We have started a significant digital transformation in our business, but we have a long way to go,” McMillon said. “We want to pick up the pace and increase the magnitude of change, so we’re creating a new role, reporting directly to me, of chief technology officer (CTO) and chief development officer (CDO), and I’m excited to announce we have found a uniquely qualified leader for this position in Suresh Kumar.”
McMillon also provided insight into Kumar’s various responsibilities. “As the global CTO, Suresh will set our technical strategy, combining advances in computing with Walmart’s strengths to deliver the best customer experiences. As the global CDO, he will lead the team in building tools and systems to digitally transform our business operations, using the scale and power of our data to deliver a competitive advantage while improving the productivity of our associates and their experience of being part of Walmart.”
“Our chief technology officers (U.S., Sam’s and International) will dually report into Suresh and their respective business leaders to ensure our technology teams continue to meet the needs of our customers and associates,” he continued. “Clay Johnson and the global business services team will also report into Suresh.”