Today, Walmart announced that it has hired former Google, Microsoft and Amazon veteran Suresh Kumar in the newly created Chief Technology Officer and Chief Development Officer – a role that will report directly to Walmart CEO Doug McMillon. The CTO position was previously held by Jeremy King, who left the dealer in March to become Pinterest's machine manager.
Kumar recently worked with Google where he earned for over a year as VP and general manager of screen, video, app ads and analytics. Prior to that, he was Corporate Vice President of Cloud Infrastructure and Operations in Microsoft for three and a half years.
However, the experience that most likely appeals to Walmart is Kumars 1
Earlier in his career, Kumar was a researcher at the IBM Thomas Watson Research Center. He has a Ph.D. In Engineering from Princeton and a Bachelor of Technology from Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.
Under Kumar, Walmart aims to bring together its four technology-based organizations – Global Business Services, Walmart Labs, Sam's Club Technology and International Technology Dealer.
Walmart USA, Sam's Club and International CTOs will report to Kumar, who will set Walmart's technical strategy. As Global CDO, he will lead the team in building systems to digitize Walmart's business, including the use of Walmart's data to deliver a competitive advantage.
In addition, Clay Johnson and the Global Business Services team will also report to Kumar.
"The technology of today and tomorrow enables us to serve our customers and colleagues in ways that were not possible before. We want to take full advantage of these opportunities," said Walmart, CEO Doug McMillon, in a statement on the new lease. "Suresh has a unique understanding of the technology and retail intersection, including the supply chain, and has deep experience in advertising, cloud and machine learning. And he has an overview of working in conjunction with business teams to drive results, "he added.
"Walmart is one of the great success stories in how a company evolves over time to serve changing needs of its customers, and today it is in the midst of a very exciting digital transformation," Kumar points out. "With more than 11,000 stores, a high-growth e-commerce business and more than two million employees worldwide, the potential for technology to help people scale is second to none, and I'm excited to be part of that. "
The rent comes at a time when Walmart and Amazon are fighting from top to top over a variety of fronts including e-commerce, omnichannel, advertising, logistics, brick and mortar, and even the cloud. Kumars over 25 years of technological experience will help here, as he has deep experience in retail, e-commerce, advertising, cloud and machine learning, says the dealer.
Walmart has recently positioned itself as a technology company, not just a dealer. Former CTO King pointed out Walmart's use of technology such as VR headphones and machine-learning robots at this year's SXSW, explaining that Walmart was building tech organization, but struggling with its perception of being only warehouses known for low prices.
Kumar will begin his new role on July 8.
Below is the full note that was distributed this morning by Doug McMillon to Walmart's internal law of rent:
Re: Suresh Kumar appointed Global Chief Technology Officer and Chief Development Officer
The technology today and tomorrow does It allows us to serve customers and colleagues in ways that were not 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 size of the change, so we create a new role, reporting directly to me, the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and the Chief Development Officer (CDO), and I'm excited to announce We've found a uniquely qualified head of this position in Suresh Kumar.
Suresh has 25 years of technology management experience, recently coming from Google and previously worked at Microsoft, Amazon and IBM. He has a unique understanding of the intersection of technology and retail, including the supply chain, and has deep experience in cloud, advertising and machine learning. And he has an overview of working in partnership with business teams to run results. He is not only a strong technician, but also a strong businessman.
As the Global CTO, Suresh will set our technical strategy, combining advances in computing with Walmart's strengths to deliver the best customer experience. As Global CDO, he will lead the team in building tools and systems to digitize our business using the scale and power of our data to deliver a competitive edge while improving the productivity of our employees and their experience of being part of Walmart.
Our Chief Technology Officers (USA, Sam and International) will report to Suresh and their respective business leaders to ensure that our technology technologies continue to meet the needs of our customers and employees. Clay Johnson and the Global Business Services team will also report to Suresh.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the technology team for the progress they have made, and for their ability to make things happen in a period of change in our industry and business.
Suresh was last with Google, acting as Vice President and CEO of Display, Video, App Ads and Analytics. Prior to Google, he was 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 led Amazon's supply chain and inventory management provider. Before Amazon.com, Suresh was a researcher at IBM T J Watson Research Center.
Suresh holds a PhD in technology from Princeton University and a bachelor's degree in 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 started July 8.
Please join me with Suresh welcome!