Walmart Canada Makes 4 Executive Promotions

C-suite changes include newly created EVP of transformation role
Emily Crowe
Multimedia Editor
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Walmart Canada
From left: Nabeela Ixtabalan, Sam Wankowski, Laurent Duray and John Bayliss

As part of its journey to transform the brick-and-mortar and online experience, Walmart Canada has made four senior executive leadership changes.

Nabeela Ixtabalan, who joined Walmart Canada in 2020, is the company’s new COO overseeing the operations and performance of more than 400 stores. She has worked for several major brands, including Starbucks and Ikea, and has held senior roles in the U.S., Canada and Europe.

Sam Wankowski will be the company’s new chief merchandising officer. He started his career at Walmart in 2003 and spent five years with Asda before joining Walmart Canada in 2008.

Laurent Duray is Walmart Canada’s new chief e-commerce officer and will work to accelerate growth at Duray joined the company in 2015 and previously worked as both the VP of strategy and SVP of fresh, grocery and consumables.

Finally, John Bayliss will step into the newly created role of EVP, transformation officer. He previously worked as the SVP of logistics and supply chain, and will now be responsible for the strategy, innovation, corporate development, new store format, real estate and transformation agenda for Walmart Canada.

“Walmart is known for its excellent people. I am extremely proud and excited for what Nabeela, Sam, Laurent and John will offer our customers as we continue to modernize and transform our business,” said Horacio Barbeito, president and CEO of Walmart Canada. “Walmart is also a great place to build a career. We recognize and promote great talent.”

Walmart Canada has been busy making sustainability- and tech-focused business moves. The company recently announced a supercenter in Quebec that is expected to open its doors in summer 2023 and will feature a 125,000-square-foot green roof, ultra-low flow restrooms, building materials made with recycled content and LED lighting throughout the store and its offices.

A $118 million high-tech sortable fulfillment center in Rocky View County, Alberta, is also in the works, as is a $175 million state-of-the-art distribution center in Surrey, British Columbia.

Walmart Canada operates a chain of more than 400 stores nationwide serving 1.5 million customers each day. Walmart Canada is No. 21 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, while Walmart U.S. is No. 1.

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