Kath McLay to Replace Retiring Judith McKenna as Walmart International CEO

Walmart has announced major leadership changes within the company, with Judith McKenna, the president and CEO of Walmart International, set to retire after 27 years with the retailer.

Effective Sept. 11, Kath McLay will take over as the president and CEO of Walmart International, while Chris Nicholas will assume the role of president and CEO of Sam’s Club U.S., Walmart President and CEO Doug McMillon said in a Wednesday (Aug. 16) note to associates.

McMillon expressed his gratitude for McKenna’s contributions and highlighted her journey within the company. Starting as the chief financial officer of Walmart’s business in the United Kingdom, McKenna progressed to become the chief operating officer of Asda and played a crucial role in transforming Walmart into an omnichannel business. She prioritized the well-being of store associates and implemented initiatives to enhance compensation, introduce new technologies, and invest in training.

During her tenure as the head of Walmart International, McKenna led a transformative journey that resulted in substantial growth and improved financial performance, McMillon said. McKenna will retire on Jan. 31, but will continue to support the company during the transition period and serve on the boards of Walmex, Flipkart and PhonePe.

McMillon also introduced McLay as the incoming president and CEO of Walmart International. McLay, who joined Walmart in 2015, has held various roles in strategy and supply chain management. She led the Neighborhood Market business and achieved 12 consecutive quarters of double-digit sales growth as the president and CEO of Sam’s Club U.S. 

McMillon said Nicholas, who previously served as Walmart U.S. chief operating officer, has been instrumental in developing strategies for an intelligent and automated supply chain. With his extensive experience as the CFO of both Walmart U.S. and Walmart International, as well as his background in leading retail companies, Nicholas is expected to do an exceptional job at Sam’s Club, McMillon said.