Retail

Walmart taps Tom Ward to head U.S. e-commerce division as Casey Carl departs

Key Points
  • Walmart's e-commerce chief Casey Carl is leaving the big-box retailer, according to a company memo.
  • He will be succeeded by Tom Ward, a Walmart executive who has led high-profile and innovative efforts from testing drones to turning stores into fulfillment hubs for online grocery orders.
  • The big-box retailer's online sales have jumped during the pandemic, but it now must find ways to keep that momentum going.

In this article

Exterior view of a Walmart store on August 23, 2020 in North Bergen, New Jersey
VIEW press | Corbis News | Getty Images

Walmart has tapped Tom Ward to lead its e-commerce division after the departure of Casey Carl, according to a company memo sent Thursday.

The company said Carl will leave at the end of February. It did not share a reason for the departure or Carl's future plans. The executive shuffle was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

Walmart is under pressure to grow online sales and turn the division into a profitable business. The big-box retailer's online sales have jumped during the pandemic, but it's looking to find ways to keep that momentum going — such as expanding its third-party marketplace.

Ward will step into the role of chief e-commerce officer on Feb. 1. As senior vice president of last-mile delivery, he has led high-profile and innovative efforts from testing drones and autonomous vehicles to turning dozens of Walmart's stores into fulfillment hubs for online grocery orders.

Carl, a longtime Target employee, became Walmart's chief e-commerce officer in 2020. He will leave at the end of February, according to the memo.

Shares of Walmart closed Thursday down 1.89% to $141.22, bringing the company's market value to $391.73 billion. Its stock performance has lagged behind other retailers. Walmart's shares have fallen about 3% over the past 12 months compared with Target, which has seen shares rise about 18% during that time.

Equity research analysts at KeyBanc downgraded Walmart's stock on Thursday, saying the company's consumers will be more budget-strapped as inflation drives up the prices of groceries and stimulus checks are no longer adding money to their bank accounts. It said the company, which is the country's largest private employer, is also under pressure from rising wages.

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