Walmart has appointed Amazon's former CEO, Suresh Kumar, as Chief Technology and Chief Development Officer as the big-box retailer seeks to compete more with Amazon, Google, and other technology giants.
Walmart announced in a press release blog post and in a memo that CEO Doug McMillon sent to employees on Tuesday that Kumar will move to the company on July 8 and report directly to him.
Kumar was last on Google, where he was vice president and general manager of Display. Videos, app ads and analytics. Previously, he was the corporate vice president of cloud infrastructure and operations at Microsoft. Prior to joining Microsoft, he spent 15 years in various functions at Amazon, including vice president of technology for retail systems and operations, and head of Amazon supply chain and inventory management systems.
"Walmart is one of the great success stories of how a company evolves over time to meet the changing needs of its customers, and today it is in the midst of a very exciting digital transformation," said Kumar in a statement. "With more than 1
The announcement came after Walmart recently lost his CTO Jeremy King to Pinterest.  While Kumar will take over all of King's previous responsibilities, such as managing the Walmart Labs, he does not fill in King's gap. King reported to Walmart's e-commerce director in the US, Marc Lore, while Kumar will now sit directly with McMillon's leadership team. Kumar will also oversee the technology at Sam's Club and internationally.
According to a spokeswoman, Walmart is still anxious to occupy King's role, while Fiona Tan, senior vice president of customer technology, has stepped into an "upscale role" to cover some of his duties.
King was known to have played a key role in helping Walmart to profile itself as a tech company, something the retailer has been trying to do. He was behind initiatives such as Walmart's addition of virtual reality headsets and machine-learning robots to stores. He also helped Lore increase online sales, which grew 37% in the last quarter.
Here is the e-mail Doug McMillon addressed to staff regarding Kumar's attitude:
Re: Suresh Kumar Appointed Global Chief Technology Officer and Chief Development Officer
The Today's and tomorrow's technology enables us to serve customers and employees in ways that were not possible before. We have started a major digital transformation in our business, but we still have a long way to go. We want to accelerate the pace and increase the scale of change. That's why we're creating a new role that reports directly to me as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Chief Development Officer (CDO), and I look forward to announcing it. Suresh Kumar
Suresh We have found a uniquely qualified leader for this position at Microsoft, Amazon and IBM. He has a unique understanding of the interface between technology and retail, including the supply chain, and has extensive experience in cloud, advertising and machine learning. He has been working with business teams for a long time to improve the results. He is not only a strong technologist but also a strong businessman.
As Global CTO, Suresh will define our technical strategy and combine advances in data processing with Walmart's strengths for the best customer experience. As Global CDO, he will lead the team in developing tools and systems for digitally transforming our business operations, using the size and power of our data to gain a competitive advantage while increasing the productivity of our people and their experience as part of Walmart improve .
Our Chief Technology Officers (USA, Sam's and International) will report regularly to Suresh and their respective directors to ensure that our technology teams continue to meet the needs of our customers and employees. Clay Johnson and the Global Business Services team will also be reporting to Suresh. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our technology team for the progress and ability that has been achieved in a time of change in our industry and in our business.
Suresh most recently served on Google as Vice President and General Manager for Display, Video, App Ads and Analytics. Prior to joining Google, he was the corporate vice president of Microsoft for Cloud Infrastructure and Operations. Suresh has held various senior leadership positions at Amazon for 15 years, including Vice President Technology for Retail Systems and Operations. He also led Amazon's supply chain and inventory management systems. Prior to Amazon.com, Suresh was a research associate at the IBM TJ Watson Research Center.
Suresh holds a PhD in engineering from Princeton University and a Bachelor of Technology from the Indian Institute of Technology at Madras. He and his wife Gayathri currently live in Cupertino, California and have two daughters. He will officially be in our office in Sunnyvale on July 8th.
Please welcome with me Suresh!