Corner Office Shifts: Walmart, Harvey’s and Warner Music

While the retailer shakes up its leadership team, the QSR and record label hand over their marketing departments to industry vets.

Corner Office Shifts

By Will Novosedlik

Walmart juices transformation efforts with leadership moves

As part of its “journey to transform the customer experience for millions of customers in-store and online,” Walmart has fortified its executive crew with four new moves.

Sam Wankowski has moved from COO to chief merchandising officer. He will be responsible for merchandising across all of Walmart’s food, apparel, general merchandise, and health and wellness offerings. Wankowski joined Walmart Canada in 2008.

Laurent Duray, formerly VP strategy and SVP fresh, grocery and consumables, has been promoted to chief e-commerce officer and tasked with growing Walmart.ca, which includes more than 40 million items from over 6,000 sellers on Walmart Canada’s Marketplace. Duray joined Walmart Canada in July 2015.

John Bayliss is taking on the newly created role of Walmart Canada’s EVP, transformation officer. Most recently SVP of logistics and supply chain, Bayliss led transformational changes in the areas of automation, blockchain, fleet electrification, and artificial intelligence.

And finally, Nabeela Ixtabalan moves from EVP, people and corporate affairs to the role of COO. Ixtabalan joined Walmart in 2020 and in her new role she will be overseeing the operations and performance of more than 400 stores across Canada, serving more than 1.5 million customers daily.

From seafood to fast food: Marketer Virginia Doiron joins Harvey’s

CPG marketer Virginia Doiron, formerly marketing manager at St John New Brunswick-based True North Seafood, has been tapped as director of marketing for Harvey’s restaurants, where she will be responsible for building the Harvey’s brand across all marketing channels.

Previous to her two-and-a-half years at True North, Doiron spent six years at McCain Foods honing her marketing skills in various brand management roles, where she earned the company’s internal Top Line Growth award three years in a row, from 2016 to 2018.

The Harvey’s brand is an asset of Recipe Unlimited (formerly Cara Operations), Canada’s oldest and largest full-service restaurant company. Its portfolio of brands includes Swiss Chalet, St. Hubert, The Keg, Kelsey’s and East Side Mario’s, among others.

Warner Music hands marketing department to industry vet Madelaine Napoleone

Madelaine Napoleone, formerly of Universal Music, has taken on a new position as VP marketing at Warner Music. She will be based out of the company’s Toronto office.

Napoleone built a solid career at Universal Music, spending 18 years advancing through several marketing roles in the Universal Music Group and finishing up at the organization as senior director of marketing at Universal Music Canada.

While there, Napoleone ran Canadian marketing campaigns for international stars Justin Bieber, Machine Gun Kelly, Shawn Mendes and Taylor Swift, as well as building promotions for a number of Universal Music Canada’s domestic artists, including Bülow, Reve and Valley.