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Marc Lore Won’t Leave Walmart

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Feb. 22 2018, Updated 9:50 a.m. ET

Key developments

Marc Lore, president and CEO of Walmart’s (WMT) e-commerce business, dismissed exit rumors when he told CNBC that he is “absolutely not” leaving Walmart. Earlier, the New York Post reported that the founder of Jet.com could leave Walmart following the company’s waning digital sales growth rate. Moreover, his absence from the fiscal 4Q18 conference call further fueled rumors.

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Here’s what incited rumors

Speculation also gained steam after news surfaced that Liza Landsman, president of Jet.com, decided to leave and join a venture capital firm. Moreover, Doug McMillon, Walmart’s president and CEO, stated that the company would change its approach toward its e-commerce business. Walmart will be “lowering marketing investments in Jet and would invest more in Walmart.com as the cost to acquire customers is cheaper with Walmart brand than that of Jet, except for some urban areas. He further added that growth at Jet.com is expected to slow down in the near-term given the focus shift.”

Lore put all speculation to rest when he told CNBC, “If anything, trust is building more between Doug [McMillon] and me and the board, and we have a lot of work to do and a lot of things to be really excited about in the future.”

Walmart’s e-commerce sales growth rate slowed down significantly in fiscal 2018 and was less than half of what it reported in fiscal 3Q18. Walmart recorded strong online sales in the first three quarters of fiscal 2018. However, in fiscal 4Q18, its e-commerce business recorded growth of 23.0%.

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