Part of retailer’s plan to boost quality, attract organic food shoppers

Walmart makes leadership changes to improve fresh meat, produce operations

By Heidi Parsons contact

- Last updated on GMT

Walmart is making some high-level personnel changes to drive quality improvements in produce and fresh meat.
Walmart is making some high-level personnel changes to drive quality improvements in produce and fresh meat.

Related tags: Supermarket, Vice president, Walmart

In line with its focus on improving product quality and category performance in fresh meat and produce, Walmart is making a number of high-level personnel changes.

The company has been implementing the changes over the past few weeks. Greg Foran, president and CEO of Walmart US, announced the reorganization internally in mid-December, a Walmart spokesman told FoodProductionDaily.

All of the following changes apply to Walmart US:

Scott Neal, formerly senior VP for produce, meat, seafood and quality control, will transition to a new role leading the meat category's long-term sourcing strategy.

Shawn Baldwin has been named to the newly created role of senior VP of fresh products. He was formerly senior VP of food, beverage, candy and tobacco for Walmart’s Sam's Club unit.

Effective January 5, executives in charge of dairy/deli/bakery, produce and floral, meat and seafood, and food quality control will report to Baldwin. Both Neal and Baldwin will report to Steve Bratspies, executive VP of food for Walmart US.

Beyond fresh

In addition to the personnel changes in fresh food category management, Foran announced new roles for Walmart US executives in the frozen food, private brands and global sourcing areas.

Ashley Buchanan, senior VP of the dry grocery business, will also assume responsibility for frozen foods. Foran said the change is designed to “create better strategic alignment around customer behavior and supplier partnerships.”

Formerly VP of private brands and purchase leverage for Walmart International, Jack Pestello has been promoted to senior VP of private brands for Walmart US.

Tom Leech, senior VP of global food and consumable sourcing for Walmart US, will remain in his current position but refocus his energies. Foran said Leech will “lead the efforts in accelerating our progress on sourcing and strategic upstreaming initiatives.”

Walmart_Oct2014_Fresh focus
This slide from an October 2014 presentation to investors by Greg Foran, Walmart US president and CEO, highlights the retailer's focal shift.

Related topics: Processing & Packaging

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1 comment

What about the fresh ploicy overseas?

Posted by Marcos Campos,

I live in Brazil, and I would like to know when this new policy for resh meat will be out in place by Brazilians Walmart shops.
Marcos Campos
Food Safety Specialist

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