Walmart has Just Hired an Ex-Google and Amazon Executive as its New CTO


 
 
03:00 06/02/2019

Big box retailer Walmart WMT  has just landed a new CTO and it's an ex-Google and Amazon executive.

The company announced last week that it has appointed Suresh Kumar as its new CTO. Kumar will be starting the job on July 8th and his role will consist of both chief technology and chief development officer. He will be reporting directly to CEO Doug McMillon.

Walmart had recently lost its CTO Jeremy King to Pinterest. Kumar will be taking over all of King’s previous responsibilities, including heading up Walmart Labs.

Kumar has been an executive at Google where he serves as vice president and general manager of display, video, app ads and analytics. He will remain at this position until July 8th when he transitions to Walmart.

“Walmart is one of the great success stories in how a company evolves over time to serve the changing needs of its customers, and today, it is in the midst of a very exciting digital transformation,” Kumar remarked. “With more than 11,000 stores ... the potential for technology to help people at scale is unparalleled, and I am excited to be part of this.”

CEO Doug McMillon sent a memo to employees Tuesday regarding Kumar joining the company that reads:

Re: Suresh Kumar appointed Global Chief Technology Officer and Chief Development Office

The technology of today and tomorrow enables us to serve customers and associates in ways that weren’t previously possible. We have started a significant digital transformation in our business, but we have a long way to go.

We want to pick up the pace and increase the magnitude of change, so we’re creating a new role, reporting directly to me, of Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Chief Development Officer (CDO), and I’m excited to announce we have found a uniquely qualified leader for this position in Suresh Kumar.

Suresh has 25 years of technology leadership experience, coming most recently from Google and previously working at Microsoft, Amazon and IBM. He has a unique understanding of the intersection of technology and retail, including supply chain, and has deep experience in cloud, advertising and machine learning. And, he has a track record of working in partnership with business teams to drive results. He is not only a strong technologist, but a strong business person as well.

As the Global CTO, Suresh will set our technical strategy, combining advances in computing with Walmart’s strengths to deliver the best customer experiences. As the Global CDO, he will lead the team in building tools and systems to digitally transform our business operations, using the scale and power of our data to deliver a competitive advantage while improving the productivity of our associates and their experience of being part of Walmart.

Our Chief Technology Officers (U.S., Sam’s and International) will dually report into Suresh and their respective business leaders to ensure our technology teams continue to meet the needs of our customers and associates. Clay Johnson and the Global Business Services team will also report into Suresh. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank our technology team for the progress they’ve led and for their ability to make things happen during a period of change in our industry and our business.

Suresh was most recently at Google, serving as Vice President and General Manager of Display, Video, App Ads and Analytics. Prior to Google, he was the Corporate Vice President of Microsoft’s Cloud Infrastructure and Operations. Suresh spent 15 years at Amazon in various leadership roles, including Vice

President of Technology for Retail Systems and Operations, and he led Amazon’s retail supply chain and inventory management systems. Before Amazon.com, Suresh was a research staff member at IBM T J Watson Research Center.

Suresh holds a PhD in Engineering from Princeton University, and a Bachelor of Technology from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. He and his wife Gayathri currently live in Cupertino, CA and have two daughters. He will be based in our Sunnyvale office, officially starting on July 8.

Please join me in welcoming Suresh!

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