This week, the US based global retail chain behemoth, Walmart has appointed Suresh Kumar, an IIT Madras graduate and former Google executive, as chief technology officer (CTO) and chief development officer (CDO). He is an engineering graduate from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (1987 batch), and a PhD in engineering from Princeton University (1992).
His appointment comes as Walmart is undertaking major investments in its e-commerce business to compete more effectively with Amazon.
The appointment comes after Walmart’s previous CTO Jeremy King left the company to join Pinterest.
Suresh Kumar, who will report directly to Walmart CEO Doug McMillon, will join the retail behemoth from July 8. He will be based out of the company’s Sunnyvale, California, office. The 54-year-old will fill in the shoes of Jeremy King, Walmart’s longtime CTO, who left the company in March.
Walmart’s Chief Information Officer Clay Johnson will report to Kumar, as will the technology chiefs at Walmart’s main operating units — US, international and Sam’s Club.
Suresh, 54, and his wife Gayathri currently live in Cupertino, CA and have two daughters. He will join Walmart at Sunnyvale office, officially starting on July 8.
Prior to Google, Suresh was the Corporate Vice President of Microsoft’s Cloud Infrastructure and Operations and before that he spent 15 years at Amazon Inc in various leadership roles, including Vice President of Technology for Retail Systems & Operations, and he led Amazon’s retail supply chain and inventory management systems. Before Amazon, Suresh was a research staff member at IBM T J Watson Research Center.
According to Suresh’s LinkedIn profile, he has 25 years of software development experience with a proven track record of managing and delivering mission critical projects in e-commerce and managing 24×7 systems and operations.He has expertise in supply chain management and retail processes including inventory management, fulfillment operations, pricing, demand forecasting, vendor management and catalog operations.
“The technology of today and tomorrow enables us to serve our customers and associates in ways that weren’t previously possible. We want to take full advantage of those opportunities,” said McMillon.
“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. And, he has a track record of working in partnership with business teams to drive results,” Walmart CEO added.
“Walmart is one of the great success stories in how a company evolves over time to serve the changing needs of its customers, and today, it is in the midst of an exciting digital transformation,” Kumar said.
With over 11,000 stores, a high-growth e-commerce business and more than two million associates worldwide, the potential for technology to help people at scale is unparalleled, Kumar added.