On Jan. 17, Walmart named current Chief Operating Officer (COO) Judith McKenna president and CEO of its international unit effective Feb. 1. The role is widely seen as a precursor to the top position of COO at Walmart. Both current CEO Doug McMillon and predecessor Mike Duke ran the international unit before leading the company.
“I’ve had the pleasure to work with Judith for many years and have seen first-hand her ability to lead strategic change, build relationships with our associates and strengthen our business,” McMillion said. “Her integrity, high expectations and passion for the business and our associates will ensure our continued success in International,” he added in a statement.
Current International CEO, David Cheesewright, will stay with the retailer, on a limited basis, and work on unspecified company projects.
Walmart’s international business reported net sales of $29.55 billion in the last reported quarter, accounting for nearly a quarter of the company’s total net sales.
McKenna began at Walmart in 1996 at Asda, the company’s U.K. operation, where she served as COO and CFO. McKenna also served as evp of strategy and international development for Walmart International. She has been on Fortune’s list of most powerful Women in Business since 2015.