What is Marc Lore’s legacy at Walmart?
Marc Lore, who has often been credited with jumpstarting Walmart’s digital evolution, is leaving the discount giant after five years.
The retailing giant’s e-commerce chief joined the company in 2016 when Walmart acquired Jet.com, the start-up he co-founded, for a whopping $3.3 billion.
Since the Jet.com acquisition, Walmart’s U.S. online sales have grown significantly, expanding 37 percent in 2019 before accelerating to as high as 79 percent in the latest third quarter as online grocery has taken off during the pandemic.
Mr. Lore spearheaded the redesign of the company’s website and app, transformed its supply chain to support two-day and same-day delivery and expanded online assortments to more than 80 million items from 10 million.
Walmart also acquired a number of digitally native brands, including Bonobos and Eloquii, launched others such as mattress brand Allswell, formed partnerships with Shopify and ThredUp, and added more online options, from curbside pickup to Walmart Express Delivery.
“Marc’s leadership helped ensure we were positioned to respond to the demand driven by the pandemic this year,” said Walmart CEO Doug McMillon Friday in a memo to employees. “All of this progress is the result of good work from a lot of people, of course, but Marc’s expertise and aggressiveness have been game changing.”
Mr. Lore told The Wall Street Journal he had an agreement to leave in five years after Walmart’s offline and online operations were integrated.
Shortfalls under his watch include Jet.com, which was wound down this past spring, and Walmart sold some of the digital start-ups it had acquired, including ModCloth. The Jetblack messenger service was a flop. Continued challenges bringing online to profitability has irked other c-level executives.
Mr. Lore contends that the Jet.com acquisition and other moves have helped Walmart recruit talent and change Walmart’s internal mindset to be able to move more quickly, such as opening pop-up fulfillment centers to support the pandemic’s spike in online demand.
“We set out to sort of change the external-internal narrative that Walmart e-commerce could be a formidable competitor and player in the e-commerce space,” Mr. Lore said in an interview with CNN Business. “I think we’ve done that.”
- Walmart’s e-commerce chief Marc Lore to leave after jump-starting retailer’s digital business – CNBC
- Walmart E-Commerce Boss Marc Lore to Exit – The Wall Street Journal
- Marc Lore leaves Walmart a little over four years after selling Jet.com for $3B – TechCrunch
- Walmart’s Marc Lore to Step Down From Retailer – Women’s Wear Daily
- The online shopping exec Walmart hired to take on Amazon is leaving – CNN
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How much headway has Walmart made competing with Amazon over the last five years? What do you think Mark Lore’s leadership has meant to Walmart?