Wal-Mart isn't the only iconic American corporation with a supply chain guy at the helm. After Sears Holding Corp. ousted its CEO in late January, Executive Vice President, Supply Chain and Operations W. Bruce Johnson took over as interim chief executive.
Board Chairman Edward S. Lampert described Johnson, 56, as "an experienced retail executive, who among other accomplishments has effectively integrated and improved our supply chain and increased our direct sourcing of product."
Johnson has an impressive and well-rounded pedigree. He joined Kmart in 2003 as senior vice president-supply chain and operations. Before that, he was director, organization and systems for the French grocery chain Carrefour SA, with global responsibilities for the supply chain, information technology, store organization, and business-to-business e-commerce. Prior to the Carrefour stint, Johnson spent 16 years at Colgate-Palmolive and earlier worked as a management consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton and Arthur Andersen & Co.
Johnson will need to call on every bit of that experience in his new job. The consensus among retail industry analysts is that Sears is struggling to keep customers from defecting to the likes of Target.