Jeremy King is the executive vice president and chief technology officer for all Walmart stores in the US and its e-commerce section. His organization, Walmart Labs, consists of retail technology, e-commerce technology and jet technology, including a global presence in infrastructure, cloud and data platforms.
But it wasn’t this way in the beginning. Back in the day, King was ignoring the largest retailer in the world. For a month, he had gotten calls from a Walmart recruiter. But he was used to being wooed since he was well known in Silicon Valley as an engineer who built key parts of the eBay’s infrastructure.
When he finally picked up the phone, he made a very interesting proposal. He told the Walmart recruiter that if they wanted him to work for Walmart, they must arrange an interview with Walmart’s CEO himself. He has since stated that this act of his was cocky and he never even expected to get an interview with the CEO of the world’s largest retailer.
But the Walmart recruiter actually arranged a video conference with Mike Duke – Walmart’s CEO.
During the 45 minutes conversation, Mike Duke made an irresistible pitch to Jeremy King. He was tired of seeing his big company lag online and thought that Walmart needed a digital direction. Specifically, he wanted to improve the online shopping at Walmart. So Duke restructured the company and placed e-commerce on equal footing with Walmart’s other, much larger divisions.
He had made serious investments in high tech talents acquiring several startups. One of them was a small social media firm called Kosmix with expertise in search and analytics. This was the impetus for Walmart rechristening its Valley operations ‘Walmart Labs’.
Duke had been looking for people who could revive the company’s sites and services and energize its entire culture. He was hoping to turn the company famous for rigid, coldly effective business processes into one that’s flexible, experimental, and entrepreneurial. In other words, Duke wanted to inject a bit of Silicon Valley into Bentonville, Arkansas.
It was in the summer of 2011 when King signed to be the CTO of Walmart.com. They ended up hiring incredibly talented people from all over the world, all in order to get the digital part of the company further than ever before.
Enjoy this infographic and guest post from Josh Wardini at 16Best.net