Holiday Central

Wal-Mart merchandising boss to leave: Report

Wal-Mart Stores Inc's chief merchandising officer, Duncan Mac Naughton, is expected to announce his departure from the world's largest retailer just days before Black Friday, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Mac Naughton joined the company in 2009 as chief merchandising officer of Wal-Mart Canada and moved over to the merchandising operations at the U.S. business in 2010, according to the company's website.

Mac Naughton was considered a potential successor to lead Wal-Mart's U.S. business when U.S. Chief Executive Bill Simon announced his resignation in July, the Journal said. The company replaced Simon with Asia chief Greg Foran.

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Earlier this week, the company changed the reporting structure of the marketing division so the chief marketing officer would report directly to Foran, rather than to Mac Naughton, the Journal reported.

Wal-Mart said in June that Joel Anderson, chief executive of its U.S. website, would step down, at a time the company plans to speed up investments in technology to boost sales at its fast-growing e-commerce business.

Earlier this month, Wal-Mart reported a rise in its same-store sales, first time in seven quarters, helped by lower gas prices but warned that it was preparing for a bruising holiday season as it moves to match prices with online outlets.

Representatives at Walmart did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment outside regular business hours.