Bill Simon is stepping down from his U.S. CEO position at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT), and will be succeeded by New Zealander Greg Foran, who previously ran the chain’s Asia operations.
Foran will be named the new President and CEO of the U.S. division of Walmart on August 9th, the huge retail chain has said. However, it won’t be all fun and games for the new CEO. Foran will be facing a whole slew of issues, from slumping sales to cranky customers.
One of the biggest issues he will need to face is how to turn around poor U.S. profits. Last quarter Walmart did poorly, and the retailer reported that first quarter it had its smallest growth in quarterly sales in almost five years. The next few months are also expected to have a low number of sales.
According to market analysts, Walmart is facing stiff competition from online stores, like Amazon and eBay, as they often have better deals. On top of that, dollar stores and other low-priced alternatives are also snatching away sales away from the retail giant.
Although around 650 new stores have been added since 2008, Foran will be facing a long road ahead of him in order to really make big changes. However, some people are optimistic about Foran coming in as the new CEO of the U.S. division, and think the change will benefit Walmart.
“Foran has a lot of experience on the operations side,” Bryan Gildenberg, an analyst at Kantar Retail in Boston, said. “He had a lot of focus on store-level experience and improvement. He spent a lot of time in stores and with store management. He’s an operator at heart.”
Whether or not Foran is right for the job remains to be seen. He will step in as the new President and CEO of Walmart’s U.S. division on August 9.