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Report: Walmart marketing chief to step down

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BENTONVILLE, Ark. – Stephen Quinn reportedly is retiring next month as Walmart’s chief marketing officer.

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Stephen Quinn (left) and Michael Francis

The discounter intends to hire Michael Francis, who spent nearly 27 years at Target Corp., as a marketing consultant, according to an article Thursday by the Wall Street Journal.

Francis will begin an overhaul of Walmart’s marketing department and is expected to work closely with Quinn’s successor, the Journal said.

The changes continue a shake-up at Walmart as chief executive officer Doug McMillon seeks to reinvigorate the retailer with an emphasis on e-commerce sales and boosting store efficiency, as well as attracting more affluent shoppers.

In October, Walmart named Steve Bratspies chief merchant and said longtime chief financial officer Charles Holley would retire at the end of the year.

Francis has been at DreamWorks Animation SKG for nearly three years, serving as chief global brand officer. But he is best known for his time at Target, where he sought partnerships with designers that resulted in the Michael Graves home goods line and limited-edition luxury items from fashion houses like Missoni.

He also served as president of J.C. Penney Co. for eight months and as an adviser to Gap Inc.


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