Walmart Promotes Insider to Replace Departing International CEO

Walmart phone and store

Walmart has named Kath McLay as its new President and CEO of Walmart International, replacing retiring 27-year Walmart veteran Judith McKenna. Chris Nicholas, currently COO of Walmart U.S., will replace McLay as President and CEO of Sam’s Club U.S., with both changes taking effect Sept. 11, 2023.

McLay, who joined Walmart in 2015, had roles in strategy and supply chain and led the retailer’s Neighborhood Market business before taking on the top jobs at Sam’s Club. “She prioritized a member-centric culture, the improvement of our merchandise quality and an expansion of our omnichannel capabilities,” said Doug McMillon, President and CEO of Walmart Inc. in a note announcing the executive changes. McLay had moved to the U.S. from Australia after spending the early part of her career at Woolworths and Qantas.

As Walmart U.S. COO, Nicholas helped develop a strategy to create a more intelligent and automated end-to-end supply chain; prior to that he was CFO of the Walmart U.S. and Walmart International businesses.

McMillon praised McKenna’s accomplishments during her tenure with Walmart, which included the role of CFO for Walmart’s UK business and COO of Asda. As COO of Walmart U.S., McKenna “played an integral role in strengthening our Walmart U.S. business, shaping our ecommerce offering and digital transformation by leading the online grocery pickup business,” McMillon wrote, adding that “she prioritized our store associates. She listened carefully and acted quickly to make investments in compensation, launch Walmart Academies, introduce new technology for our store managers and make other changes that strengthened the core of the business. Judith put the phrase, ‘Our people make the difference,’ back onto our store associate badges to remind everyone how essential associates are to our success.”