Walmart has appointed tech veteran Suresh Kumar as the company’s new chief development and technology officer.
He has spent 15 years working for Amazon in various executive roles.
This recruitment move comes as Walmart gears up to compete better with Amazon.
Walmart has appointed tech veteran Suresh Kumar as the company’s new chief development and technology officer. Kumar has an impressive resume, having worked for giants like Microsoft, Amazon and Google. He has spent 15 years working for Amazon in various executive roles. The hiring of Kumar is especially interesting as Amazon is a direct competitor of the retail empire. Kumar will take on his new position from 8th July.
He is a graduate of IIT Madras and further holds a Ph.D in engineering from Princeton University. Kumar’s latest stint was at Google, where he was serving as a VP. He also held the position of General Manager of video, display and App analytics and ads. He has worked as a research staff member for IBM Thomas J Watson centre for research as well. Further, he spent 4 years working as cloud operations and infrastructure VP at Microsoft.
However, his time at Amazon is the most noteworthy where he worked as a VP of technology for retail services and systems. He also led the company’s supply chain development and management of inventory systems. He worked to set architectural directions for integrating all retail subsidiaries into the Amazon technology stack as well
Kumar has replaced Jeremey King as the CTO for Walmart. King left the company to join Pinterest. However, the retailer has put emphasis that the hiring of Kumar isn’t meant to be a replacement for King as Kumar will take on a much bigger and elevated role within the company. He will also be in charge of setting the technical strategy of the company. He will directly report to CEO Doug McMillon, whereas King only reported to e-commerce chief of Walmart, Marc Lore.
This recruitment move comes as Walmart gears up to compete better with Amazon. The retailer is also in the moves of abandoning the physical retail market and focusing on the home delivery space. It is planning on using technology to solve problems associated with traditional retail. The latest distribution centre of Walmart for groceries will use warehouse automation which will reportedly use robots. These robots will be developed by Witron based in Germany. The warehouse is currently under construction at Shafter, California. The warehouse is supposed to give 40% more output than traditional sinew and bone facilities.
The company also has Waymo, an auto specialist as a partner. It is said to in the process of testing online grocery services which will include picking up of customers by the means of a driverless vehicle and dropping them at stores to collect their respective orders. Walmart is also starting Spark delivery, a service similar to Uber eats. The self-employed drivers would be delivering groceries instead of food.
CEO McMillon in his statement said, using technology that is being developed,the company aims to serve the customers better and in ways that weren’t really possible before. They believe Suresh Kumar has an in-depth understanding of the amalgamation of retail and technology and will help them take full advantage of opportunities in this field. He also has valuable experience in cloud and machine learning and advertising.
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