Marc Lore, CEO of Walmart eCommerce
Scott Mlyn | CNBC
Walmart’s U.S. ecommerce business executive Marc Lore is leaving the big box retailer nearly five years after reaching out to the serial entrepreneur to speed up his online business.
Lore joined the company in 2016 when Walmart acquired Jet.com, the startup he co-founded, for $ 3.3 billion. The delivery service sent groceries and other household items to largely younger city customers.
With the expensive acquisition, the old stationary retailer was trying to boost its digital business and catch up with rival Amazon. The deal was seen in part by investors and analysts as an opportunity for Walmart to leverage the digital expertise of Lore and his team. A serial entrepreneur, Lore had vast experience in e-commerce and sold his former company Quidsi, the parent company of Diapers.com, to Amazon.
In an 8K filed on Friday, Walmart said Lore informed the company Thursday that he would be stepping down from his position in late January. He will be a strategic advisor to Walmart through September, the company said.
Doug McMillon, CEO of Walmart, attributed the pace of the retailer’s e-commerce growth to Lore in a company-wide email Friday. Lore led the redesign of the company’s website and app, modified the supply chain to allow for two-day and same-day delivery, and expanded the range of goods sold online.
“Marc’s leadership has helped us to be able to respond to the demand sparked by the pandemic this year,” McMillon said in the email. “All these advances are of course the result of good work by many people, but Marc’s expertise and aggressiveness changed the game. We learned a lot from him. I personally learned a lot from him.”
In a post on LinkedIn, Lore said he would be taking time off but plans to continue working with startups.
“To think with so much pride about the past few years – Walmart has changed my life and the work we’ve done together will change customers’ lives for years,” he wrote.
Walmart’s U.S. e-commerce business has grown dramatically since acquiring Jet.com – even before the pandemic. The company posted 37% online sales growth in the US, beating its own internal growth target of 35%. This is all the more the case as customers are restricting trips to the store and using roadside pick-up during the global health crisis.
However, some of the initiatives Lore cited have faded or failed. Jet.com – the start-up that originally caught Walmart’s attention – officially closed in the spring. Jetblack, a membership-based service that allowed customers to order items on demand via SMS, became a money loser that was discontinued before scaling.
This story evolves and is updated.