Walmart Canada announces executive changes

May 11, 2022

4 Min. Read

Mississauga – May 11, 2022 – Walmart Canada is pleased to announce recent senior executive leadership changes as part of its transformation journey to transform the customer experience for millions of customers in-store and online.

  • Nabeela Ixtabalan has been named Chief Operations Officer
  • Sam Wankowski has been named Chief Merchandising Officer
  • Laurent Duray has been named Chief E-commerce Officer
  • John Bayliss is now Executive Vice President, Transformation Officer

“Walmart is known for its excellent people. I am extremely proud and excited for what Nabeela, Sam, Laurent and John will offer our customers as we continue to modernize and transform our business,” said Horacio Barbeito, President and CEO, Walmart Canada. “Walmart is also a great place to build a career. We recognize and promote great talent. At Walmart, the sky's the limit!"

Nabeela Ixtabalan is Walmart Canada’s new Chief Operations Officer overseeing the operations and performance of more than 400 stores from coast-to-coast-coast serving more than 1.5 million customers daily. She joined Walmart in 2020 as Executive Vice President, People and Corporate Affairs. Her passion and commitment in the areas of well-being, diversity and inclusion, building capabilities for the future, and becoming a regenerative company will have a lasting impact on Walmart Canada.

Nabeela joined Walmart following an extensive career in retail working for major brands such as Starbucks and Ikea and has held senior roles in the US, Canada and Europe. She is a proven leader of transformational change, Nabeela brings exceptional capabilities in human resources, retail operations, digital innovation and agile methodology. She was most recently recognized as one of The Globe and Mail’s Report on Business’ 2022 Top Executives.

Sam Wankowski is Walmart Canada’s new Chief Merchandising Officer ensuring that customers have convenient access to food, apparel, general merchandise, and health and wellness offerings at everyday low prices. Sam’s career with Walmart began in 2003 when he joined ASDA, Walmart’s former UK operations. He spent five years in a variety of roles within ASDA before joining Walmart Canada in 2008.

During his time at Walmart Canada, Sam held many progressive leadership positions within merchandising and operations and was most recently the company’s Chief Operations Officer. He is known for his human-centred approach to leadership and is a strong ambassador for our culture – building engaged, diverse and highly capable teams. He has a track record of delivering results through leading transformational change and has been a dedicated advocate for the work to become a more regenerative business.

Laurent Duray is Walmart Canada’s new Chief E-commerce Officer, leading a cross-functional team to accelerate and grow Walmart.ca, which is visited by 1.5 million customers daily, and includes more than 40 million items from over 6,000 sellers on Walmart Canada’s Marketplace. Laurent joined Walmart Canada in July 2015. Prior to his current role, Laurent held senior positions at Walmart Canada, including Vice President of Strategy and Senior Vice President of Fresh, Grocery and Consumables and initiated the omni integration within merchandising.

Laurent is known for his high energy and focus on performance and developing talent and is a strong transformational change leader, creating innovative solutions and value for Walmart customers. Prior to joining Walmart, Laurent worked for well-known European retailer Ahold Delhaize and in management consulting at Accenture.

John Bayliss is Walmart Canada’s new Executive Vice President, Transformation Officer. In this newly created role, John is driving the strategy, innovation, corporate development, new store format, real estate and transformation agenda for Walmart Canada. Prior to this role, John was the senior vice president of logistics and supply chain of Walmart Canada where he led a transformation within the supply chain team focused on safety, engagement, performance, and service to our stores and customers, which included innovative projects around automation, blockchain, fleet electrification, and artificial intelligence.

John has been a passionate champion for modernizing our business with innovative projects around automation, blockchain, fleet electrification, and artificial intelligence. Before joining Walmart Canada, John worked for over 16 years with The Boston Consulting Group. He was a core member of their global retail leadership team and served retail clients in Canada, the US, UK, Europe, and Australia.

About Walmart Canada
Walmart Canada operates a chain of more than 400 stores nationwide serving 1.5 million customers each day. Walmart Canada's flagship online store, Walmart.ca is visited by more than 1.5 million customers daily. With more than 100,000 associates, Walmart Canada is one of Canada's largest employers and is ranked one of the country's top 10 most influential brands. Walmart Canada was recently recognized as a LinkedIn Top Company of 2021 and was also named one of Canada’s most popular brands (based on Google searches). Walmart Canada's extensive philanthropy program is focused on supporting Canadian families in need, and since 1994 Walmart Canada has raised and donated more than $500 million to Canadian charities. Additional information can be found at walmartcanada.ca and on Walmart Canada’s social media pages – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.