Walmart’s Marketing Executives Shuffle Around As CMO Barbara Messing Steps Down

By Annie Baker ● August 22, 2019
  • Walmart’s U.S. Chief Marketing Officer Barbara Messing is stepping down on August 30. As a result, the retail giant is shuffling around its management team

On August 30, Walmart’s U.S. Chief Marketing Officer Barbara Messing will be stepping down in order to return to the Bay Area of California. Going forward, some of her duties will be handled temporarily by Michael Francis — who is the former chief marketer at Target and DreamWorks along with being a former president at J.C. Penney. These changes were announced by a memo published by Walmart Chief Customer Officer Janey Whiteside.

Whiteside pointed out that Messing has driven “memorable and effective creative campaigns that reached our customers in new and unexpected ways.” Francis — who has been consulting for Walmart since late 2015 — will be guiding the Retail Marketing team. In the meantime, Walmart is looking for a new chief marketing officer and a new direct report to lead a new team under the CMO, according to AdAge.

Messing was previously the CMO of TripAdvisor. And she was based at Walmart’s primary U.S. headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas while Whiteside was based at the company’s e-commerce offices in Hoboken, New Jersey. And Whiteside is reporting jointly to Walmart U.S. CEO Greg Foran and Walmart U.S. E-Commerce CEO Marc Lore.


Before Messing was CMO at Walmart, the position was held by Tony Rogers — who was moved to chief member officer of Sam’s Club in August 2018. And before that, the position was held by Stephen Quinn — who kept that position for nearly a decade.

Some of the other marketing hires that Walmart made recently include longtime American Express veteran Rich Lehrfeld as SVP of Brand Marketing, Creative, and Media. Going forward, Walmart’s marketing operations group is now going to report to Lehrfeld.

Brittney Duke — the VP of Marketing Operations at Walmart — is going to join the new Retail Marketing team as VP for general merchandise marketing. And J. David Echegoyen  — who is going to oversee marketing for grocery, pickup & delivery, services and digital acceleration — will also become part of that team as well. Ciara Gary A. — who was the senior director-store experience marketing — will be promoted to VP for consumables marketing. And Karissa Price — who was senior director of health and wellness marketing — is getting promoted to VP in the same department. Plus Alvis Washington — the VP of store experience marketing — is joining the Retail Marketing team.