Walmart has named Tony Rogers to succeed Stephen Quinn as U.S. chief marketing officer, a move expected by people internally and close to the company since Mr. Quinn announced plans to retire last week.
Mr. Rogers, a Frito-Lay veteran who's been with Walmart for 10 years, has been CMO for Walmart China the past two years, leading traditional, digital and social-media efforts there. In that role, he initially reported to Greg Foran, then CEO of Walmart China and now CEO of Walmart U.S., to whom Mr. Rogers will report in his new role starting the middle of next month.
Mr. Rogers provides considerable continuity in the U.S. CMO role as part of the "Frito Five" group of executives originally recruited into Walmart from the PepsiCo unit a decade ago. Mr. Quinn was also part of that group and he and Mr. Rogers have worked together closely.
Mr. Rogers left Walmart for less than a week in 2008 to take a post at Omnicom's GSD&M, an agency he'd worked with both at Frito-Lay and Walmart, before deciding to return to the retailer, where he's stayed ever since.
Mr. Rogers will begin his duties the middle of next month, said spokeswoman Deisha Barnett in an e-mail. Mr. Quinn is set to retire at the end of the retailer's fiscal year on Jan. 31.
Among other things, Mr. Rogers has led the push for Walmart to devote more resources to multicultural marketing. One key to that, he said at a 2012 Association of National Advertisers Multicultural Marketing and Diversity Conference, is "making multicultural part of everything you do," rather than in silos. He recounted a mistake Walmart made in leaving Hispanic consumers out of its plans to bring back layaway by not keeping multicultural agency Lopez Negrete in the loop.
In a talk at a Shopper Marketing Institute forum in 2013, he criticized such digital ad formats as pre-roll video advertising and retargeted display advertising, recounting his own efforts to skip the former and being wrongly retargeted as a Chicago Cubs fan because of searches he was doing for uniforms for his son's youth baseball team.
In his new role, Mr. Rogers will be getting input from an old adversary -- longtime former Target CMO Michael Francis -- who will begin a gig as a marketing consultant for Walmart on Jan. 1. Mr. Francis is expected to help Walmart build its appeal with more upscale shoppers, but he's also raised concerns from some suppliers who recall the ultimately rolled-back efforts by former Chief Merchandising Officer John Fleming, who sought to apply Target-like strategies to Walmart. Mr. Francis has most recently been the chief marketer at Dreamworks Animation, where he's worked closely with Walmart marketers on projects, leading to the consulting assignment.