Walmart creates new executive role aimed at serving customers

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Walmart is pictured at one of their stores in Monterrey, Mexico March 6, 2017. Picture taken March 6, 2017. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril/File Photo

(Reuters) - Walmart Inc WMT.N has appointed a former American Express executive to the newly created role of chief customer officer, focused on attracting shoppers and offering better customer service, at a time when competition in the retail industry has made it tough to retain shoppers.

The newly named executive, Janey Whiteside, will be responsible for both Walmart stores and its e-commerce offerings and will join the retailer on Aug. 1, according to a memo sent to employees by Walmart U.S. Chief Executive Greg Foran and e-commerce chief Marc Lore. Walmart provided a copy of the memo to Reuters.

Whiteside spent two decades at American Express, in areas including relationship management, marketing and customer engagement.

“Janey will play a critical role looking after our brand and thinking through the customer journey - from acquiring new customers to their shopping experience and resolving any issues they may have,” the memo said.

Whiteside’s team will include another new appointee, Barbara Messing, who will join Walmart as chief marketing officer in mid-August. She will replace Tony Rogers, who has moved to the retailer’s warehouse chain Sam’s Club in a new role.

Whiteside will be based in Hoboken, New Jersey, where Walmart-owned is headquartered. Messing will be based in Bentonville, Arkansas, Walmart’s corporate headquarters, the memo said.

Reporting by Nandita Bose in New York; Editing by Leslie Adler