Judith McKenna has been named chief operating officer for Walmart U.S., succeeding Gisel Ruiz, who has been named executive vp of Walmart’s International People Division.
McKenna will assume her responsibilities immediately and will continue to report directly to Walmart U.S. president/CEO, Greg Foran. Ruiz will also assume her responsibilities immediately and will report to Walmart International president/CEO, David Cheesewright.
McKenna joined Walmart nearly 20 years ago as part of its Asda leadership team in the U.K., where she served as the chief financial officer and chief operating officer. She moved to Walmart International as executive vice president of strategy and international development, and most recently served as chief development officer for Walmart U.S.
As chief operating officer, McKenna will lead a team of 1.3 million associates. She will also continue to lead Walmart’s small format stores, development of new formats, expansion of Walmart services and the integration of digital commerce into the retailer’s existing U.S. stores.
“At her core and by experience, Judith is a retailer who has made major contributions to our business throughout her career,” said Foran. “It’s exciting to bring her skills in managing store operations, small format growth, logistics and e-commerce to an expanded role in our U.S. operations. Her knowledge of global best practices and her success in leading our associates around the world will help drive our Walmart U.S. business forward.”
Ruiz started as a management trainee and gained a depth of experience across key roles in labor relations, operations and human resources. Most recently as chief operating officer for Walmart U.S., Ruiz led the retailer’s focus on improving operational efficiencies, opened more than 400 new U.S. stores, and increased representation of women and people of color across operations leadership roles.
As evp of Walmart’s International People Division, Ruiz will be a key member of Cheesewright’s leadership team and the retailer’s Global People leadership team. She will also drive Walmart’s human resources strategy and priorities that reach more than one million associates in 26 countries around the world.
“Gisel is an inspirational leader who has consistently contributed to Walmart’s growth and success throughout her 22 years with the company. Her proven track record and unwavering commitment to our associates make her the perfect choice for this new role,” said Cheesewright.