Walmart is looking for a new CEO.
Bloomberg reported that the retailer has posted an opening for a “CEO, Stealth Company” who would be in charge of Store No. 8. The new executive will be responsible for “building a business from scratch,” as well as working with senior Walmart leaders and acting as the “public champion” for the business.
Launched in 2017, Store No. 8 was created by Marc Lore, who joined Walmart in 2016 when the retailer bought his startup, Jet.com, for $3.3 billion. It is named for a store that was built in a bottling plant during Walmart’s early days that Sam Walton reportedly used as his retail strategies lab. The goal of this latest version is to create relationships with AI and emerging tech entrepreneurs.
“We knew we needed to keep investing in the future of retail,” Seth Beal, one of the principals of Store No. 8, said at the time. “We’re making sure that we make the right short-term decisions but don’t neglect the long term.”
Since its inception, the startup has worked on several endeavors, including Jetblack, a same-day delivery service that enables customers to text their orders for same-day delivery not only from Walmart.com, but also from the websites of rival retailers.
“The goal is to think about game-changing technologies that will change the way people shop,” said Jenny Fleiss, co-founder and chief executive of Jetblack.
In addition to Jetblack, Store No. 8’s projects include Spatialand, a virtual-reality software maker acquired in 2018; Project Kepler, which aims to compete with Amazon Go; and the elusive Project Franklin. Walmart featured many of these technologies at this week’s National Retail Federation’s annual conference in New York.
“There’s a lot of great new cool technology,” Walmart’s chief technology officer Jeremy King said in an interview. “The challenge at Walmart is how do I scale those things?”