US-based retail chain Walmart Tuesday said it has appointed Suresh Kumar, an IIT-Madras graduate and former Google executive, as chief technology officer and chief development officer. He will directly report to President and Chief Executive Officer Doug McMillon, Walmart said in a statement. The appointment comes at a time when Walmart is transforming its customer and associate experiences. He brings over 25 years of technology leadership experience coming from Google, Microsoft, Amazon and IBM, it said.
"The technology of today and tomorrow enables us to serve our customers and associates in ways that weren't previously possible. We want to take full advantage of those opportunities," McMillon said. "Suresh has a unique understanding of the intersection of technology and retail, including supply chain, and has deep experience in advertising, cloud and machine learning. And, he has a track record of working in partnership with business teams to drive results," McMillon added.
"Walmart is one of the great success stories in how a company evolves over time to serve the changing needs of its customers, and today, it is in the midst of an exciting digital transformation," Kumar said. With over 11,000 stores, a high-growth e-commerce business and more than two million associates worldwide, the potential for technology to help people at scale is unparalleled, Kumar added.
Kumar was most recently at Google, serving as vice president and general manager of display, video, app ads and analytics. Prior to Google, he was the corporate vice president of Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure and operations. Kumar spent 15 years at Amazon in various leadership roles, including vice president of technology for retail systems and operations, and he led Amazon’s retail supply chain and inventory management systems. Before Amazon, he was a research staff member at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center.
Kumar holds a PhD in Engineering from Princeton University, and a Bachelor of Technology from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.