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Castro-Wright retirement opens door for new social commerce leadership

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores is in search of a new head of its global ecommerce and global sourcing businesses now that Eduardo Castro-Wright announced his retirement effective July 1, 2012. Walmart said it intends to name new leadership for these businesses by the end of January, after which Castro-Wright will assist in the transition.

In his role as vice chairman and CEO of global ecommerce and global sourcing, Castro-Wright, 56, has been instrumental in developing Walmart's social and mobile commerce business, which included the development of @WalmartLabs through the acquisition of Kosmix, a technology platform that searches and analyzes connections in real-time data streams to deliver highly personalized insights to users.

In order to continue the momentum of its social commerce venture, Walmart will have to choose Castro-Wright's replacement carefully. As Retailing Today editor Mike Troy opined in an article on the Kosmix deal, "Say what you will about Castro-Wright, and plenty have, the guy gets things done and could be exactly what Walmart needs to bring a sense of urgency to the development of Walmart’s multichannel capabilities."

Castro-Wright joined Walmart in 2001 as president and COO of Walmart Mexico and was promoted to president and CEO of that business in 2003. He also served as COO for a short period until being named president and CEO of Walmart U.S. in 2005. He was promoted to vice chairman in 2008 and assumed his current responsibilities in August of last year.

"Eduardo has made many contributions at Walmart, beginning in Mexico and continuing until today," said Walmart CEO Mike Duke. "He has been a strong advocate for our customers and in every assignment has brought passion and commitment to the job. He has also built talented teams wherever he has led."

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