US-headquartered retail giant Walmart has named Google executive Suresh Kumar as its chief technology officer and chief development officer.
In the newly-created roles, Kumar will report directly to Walmart president and chief executive officer Doug McMillon, the company said in a statement.
Kumar joins at a time when Walmart, which acquired Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart last year, is in the midst of a transformation of its customer and associate experiences, the statement added.
“Suresh has a unique understanding of the intersection of technology and retail, including supply chain and has deep experience in advertising, cloud and machine learning,” said McMillon. “He has a track record of working in partnership with business teams to drive results.”
At Google, Kumar served as vice president and general manager of display, video, apps and analytics. Before that, he was vice-president of cloud infrastructure and operations at Microsoft.
A graduate of Indian Institute of Technology-Madras, Kumar also spent 15 years at Amazon where he held leadership roles such as vice president of technology for retail systems and operations. He also led the e-commerce giant’s retail supply chain and inventory management systems.
Kumar holds a PhD in engineering from Princeton University and served in the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center as a member of the research staff.
Walmart was founded in 1962 and now runs a multinational retail corporation which spans both e-commerce and its chain of brick-and-mortar stores.
The American retail giant owns around 80% stake in Flipkart. It was reported last year that Flipkart’s experience in running web applications on low bandwidth and relatively inexpensive phones had triggered Walmart’s plans to harness Flipkart’s technology capabilities on a global scale.
Recent developments pertaining to Walmart:
- May 2019: Walmart reported a significant decline in operating profit for the February-April quarter after taking Flipkart’s numbers into account.
- February 2019: Walmart expressed disappointment with regard to the recent FDI norms imposed by the Indian government, but said that it was confident about Flipkart’s prospects.
- December 2018: Walmart Labs, the product development arm of the retail giant, acqui-hired machine learning startup Int.ai.
- November 2018: Walmart Labs acqui-hired Dataturks, a Bengaluru-based data annotation startup.