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Walmart.com, Target vet new Wal-Mart chief merchant

Bentonville, Ark. – Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is reorganizing its U. S. marketing and merchandising areas to align its merchants with key product areas: grocery, entertainment, apparel and home.

Retailing veteran John Fleming will become the company's chief merchandising officer after leading its marketing division for almost two years. All key merchandising segments will report to Fleming. He will also have responsibility for two newly created organizations, one focused on the customer experience and the other on planning, pricing and replenishment.

The fifth division – pharmacy and optical – will continue reporting to Bill Simon, executive vp of professional services and new business development. Simon reports to Eduardo Castro-Wright, president and ceo of Wal-Mart Stores U. S.

Before heading up the Wal-Mart Stores U. S. marketing operation, Fleming grew Walmart.com into one of the country's top three destinations for online shopping. He spent 19 years with the department stores division (Dayton Hudson and Marshall Fields) of Target Corp. There he held a variety of positions, including senior vice president of merchandising for the fashion divisions.

In other merchandise changes, Doug Degn, executive vp of food, consumables and hardlines, has decided to retire after a few months of helping in the transition of the new merchandise organization.

Claire Watts, executive vice president of merchandising, will now lead the apparel merchandising area and report to Fleming.

Stephen Quinn is being promoted to executive vice president and chief marketing officer, replacing Fleming. Quinn joined the company in 2005 as senior vice president of marketing. Before coming to Wal-Mart he spent 13 years with the Frito-Lay division of Pepsico, Inc., most recently as chief marketing officer. Prior to that, he held consumer marketing positions at Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, and Quaker Oats. Quinn will report to Castro-Wright.

Carter Cast, president and ceo of Walmart.com, will now report to Castro-Wright.

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