Walmart US taps Sam's Club exec as new CEO, Foran to depart

Longueuil,Quebec, Сanada- May 28, 2014: View at Longueuil storefront from its parking lot.Walmart is an American public multinationnal corporation stores and warehouse stores.

Walmart, the world's largest retailer and the largest employer in the U.S., announced on Thursday that John Furner, CEO of Sam's Club, will become President and CEO of Walmart U.S. reporting directly to President and CEO Doug McMillon.

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The move is effective November 1 and Furner will replace Greg Foran who is taking over as CEO at Air New Zealand Limited, according to the company.

Furner, 45, is a company insider which McMillon said will serve him well in his new role.

John Furner, President and CEO of Sam's Club/Photo by Marc F. Henning

“John has done a fantastic job at Sam’s Club, and he will continue the momentum we have in Walmart U.S.,” said McMillon. “John knows our business well, having held many different jobs in the company over more than 25 years, and he is helping transform it for the future..." he said in the announcement.

A replacement for the top slot at Sam's Club will be announced at a later date, the company noted.

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The move comes at a pivotal policy time for the retailer.

A mass shooting at its El Paso location killed 22 people sparking a national debate about gun control. Following the tragedy, the retailer announced it will stop selling handguns and some types of ammunition in its U.S. stores following recent mass shootings.

The world’s largest retailer will end sales of ammunition for short-barrel rifles -- such as the .223 caliber and 5.56 caliber -- and all handgun ammunition, once it sells its current inventory. Walmart also announced it will stop selling handguns in Alaska, the only state where it still sells them.

Walmart said it represents 2 percent of the market for guns in America today and estimates the decision will drop its market share of ammunition to about 6 percent from 9 percent; its current market share is around 20 percent.

Walmart's move sparked a series of other retailers to do the same including Kroger, CVS and Costco among others to mirror similar policies.

Shares of Walmart have gained over 27 percent this year, ahead of the S&P 500's 17 percent gain.

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