Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., has named Dave Ferguson the new President & CEO of the company’s European operations. Ferguson, 55, who has spent the past 4 1/2 years overseeing Wal-Mart’s successful operations in Canada, replaces Allan Leighton who has decided to leave the company.
Leighton, 47, who will remain with Wal-Mart for the next few months to assist in the management transition, played an instrumental role in the development of ASDA and, most recently, in the successful integration of the ASDA and Wal-Mart business practices and cultures. His intention is to announce his future plans at a later time.
“We are fortunate to have someone of the caliber of Dave Ferguson to step into this important role and help us continue to develop our business in Europe,” said Lee Scott, 51, President and CEO of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. “Dave and his team have set new standards for retail excellence in Canada, and our customers and associates in the UK and Germany will undoubtedly benefit from this experience. At the same time, Dave will inherit an excellent management team led by Paul Mason at ASDA and Volker Barth in Germany.”
Scott added, “We regret losing a talent like Allan Leighton, but we greatly appreciate the contribution he made during the transition period since our acquisition of ASDA. The relationship between Wal-Mart and ASDA represents one of the best marriages in the history of retail, and it is one that will benefit our customers and associate colleagues for years to come.”
Leighton said, “Anything I’ve achieved at ASDA has only been possible because of the 95,000 fabulous colleagues I’ve been lucky enough to work with, and I thank them all from the bottom of my heart. I am more convinced than ever that joining the Wal-Mart family is the best thing that could have happened for ASDA colleagues and customers. Although I have now made my own decision to move on, I shall be watching as ASDA and Wal-Mart grow ever stronger.”
Ferguson, who this year was named Distinguished Retailer of the Year by the Retail Council of Canada, said, “I am both humbled and excited by this opportunity. I also appreciate what Allan Leighton and his team have built here, and I look forward to his help during the transition. I wish Allan the best.
“Of course, I can’t help but leave Canada with mixed emotions,” Ferguson added. “Our Canadian associates are one-of-a-kind and deserve all the credit for the special relationships that we have established with our customers. Our Canadian operation and people will continue to do well because they will always focus on taking care of our customers and on treating one another with respect.”
As President and CEO of Wal-Mart Europe, Ferguson will report to John Menzer, President and CEO of Wal-Mart’s International division.
In addition to the appointment of Ferguson, Wal-Mart has also announced several key promotions. In the UK, Tony DeNunzio, 40, has been promoted to the position of Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Wal-Mart Europe, a new position reporting to Ferguson. DeNunzio became CFO of ASDA 18 months ago and has been overseeing the financial operations in Germany since January. DeNunzio joined ASDA in 1994 after working with a number of companies, including PepsiCo, Inc.; L’Oreal (UK), Ltd.; and Unilever plc.
In Canada, Mario Pilozzi, 53, who has 35 years of experience in the Canadian retail sector, has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Wal-Mart Canada, reporting to Menzer. Pilozzi joined Wal-Mart Canada in 1994 as Vice-President and General Merchandise Manager, and was promoted to Senior Vice-President, Merchandise and Sales, in 1996. Earlier this year, he was given the Sam M. Walton Entrepreneur of the Year Award, the company’s most prestigious award that is granted to the Wal-Mart associate who best exemplifies the beliefs, values and entrepreneurial spirit of Sam Walton. Hani Zayadi, 52, has been promoted to Senior Vice President of Merchandising, replacing Pilozzi. Zayadi joined Wal-Mart Canada in January after more than 20 years in the Canadian retail industry, including working at Dylex Ltd, The Hudson’s Bay Company, and most recently, Future Shop Ltd. Roland Boudreau, 50, will continue to serve as Senior Vice President of Operations for Wal-Mart Canada. Boudreau and Zayadi will report to Pilozzi.
The ASDA management team will continue to be led by Paul Mason, 40, COO for ASDA. Mason joined ASDA six years ago from Kingfisher, plc., and prior to that he was with Mars, Corp. Mason’s management team includes:
- Mike Coupe, 39, Trading Director. Coupe joined ASDA seven years ago and is responsible for the ASDA trading program and the company’s e-commerce program.
- Richard Baker, 38, Marketing Director. Baker joined ASDA five years ago from Mars, Corp. Since then, he has served in key positions in merchandise buying and food, and was promoted to the position of Marketing Director more than a year ago.
In addition to Mason, Tony Campbell, 50, will report to Ferguson. Campbell is responsible for developing the European clothing strategy. Christine Watts, Corporate Affairs Director, and Brian Gaunt, European Supply Chain Director will also report to Ferguson.
The Wal-Mart Germany management team will continue to be led by Volker Barth, 42, COO, a position he has held for the past year. Before joining Interspar in 1998, Barth worked 19 years for Metro AG. Barth’s management team includes:
- Gotthard Haug, 41, CFO for Wal-Mart Germany. For the past five years, Haug served as finance controller for Mars. Inc. He joined Wal-Mart in July 2000.
- Ian Macleod, 41, Chief Merchandising Officer (CMO). Macleod joined ASDA 19 years ago and four months ago was promoted to the CMO position with Wal-Mart Germany.
- Torsten Alfes, 39, who is responsible for the people division and information services. In 1987, Alfes joined Wertkauf, which was acquired by Wal-Mart.
Established in 1994 and headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, Wal-Mart Canada operates a growing network of 168 stores nationwide and is the No. 1 retailer in Canada. Wal-Mart Canada employs more than 42,000 associates.
Wal-Mart entered Germany in January 1998 by acquiring 21 Wertkauf stores. The company then acquired 74 Interspar stores one year later. Wal-Mart Germany is headquartered in Wuppertal and currently employs 18,200 associates.
Wal-Mart acquired ASDA in July 1999 and today operates 240 stores in the UK. ASDA is headquartered in Leeds, England, and currently employs more than 95,000 associate colleagues.
As of August 31, 2000, the Company had 1,749 Wal-Mart stores, 825 Supercenters, 469 Sam’s Clubs and 12 Neighborhood Markets in the United States. Internationally, the Company operated units in Argentina (11), Brazil (17), Canada (168), China (8), Germany (95), Korea (5), Mexico (478), Puerto Rico (15) and United Kingdom (240). Wal-Mart employs more than 885,000 associates in the U.S. and 255,000 internationally. In 1999, the company raised and donated more than $163 million for charitable organizations. Wal-Mart is located on-line at www.wal-mart.com.