Walmart Announces CFO Transition; Shares Fall
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Walmart Announces CFO Transition; Shares Fall

American multinational retailer Walmart Inc. (WMT) announced that its current Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Brett Biggs will step down from his position effective next year. Following the news, shares fell 1.6% to close at $142.63 on November 29.

Longstanding Journey

Brett Biggs joined Walmart in 2000 and since has held many different positions within the company, including CFO for Walmart International, Walmart U.S., and Sam’s Club. Moreover, he has also served as Senior VP of international strategy, mergers and acquisitions, as well as of corporate finance, and Sam’s Club.

Biggs was helmed to the Executive VP and CFO position on December 31, 2015. Since then he has successfully managed the company’s affairs relating to accounting and controls, corporate strategy and development, business planning and analysis, global procurement, internal audit, treasury, tax, and investor relations.

Grateful for his journey and the support he received during his career, Biggs said, “Our company has never been stronger, and I believe we’re set up for continued success to serve customers and deliver a retail experience, unlike any other company. Given the tremendous positioning and momentum of the company, now felt like the right time to transition to the next chapter in my personal and professional life.”

After his long-standing journey of 22 years at Walmart, Biggs will start a new chapter working for for-profit and non-profit sectors.

Search for a Successor

Walmart said it will consider both internal and external candidates for the role. Meanwhile, Biggs will continue as the CFO until a suitable successor is found next year. He will then transition to be an associate until he retires from the company on January 31, 2023. During this time, Biggs will also remain as a Board member of Walmart’s FinTech start-up joint venture with Ribbit Capital.

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Management Comments

Walmart President and CEO, Doug McMillon, said, “Brett’s high character and strong leadership have played a central role during one of the most significant periods in the company’s history.”

McMillon added, “His contributions have been a key to the important steps we’ve taken to transform the company on our omni journey. Brett has elevated the finance organization and strengthened the team through his commitment to excellence and talent development. We are fortunate to have benefited from his talents, and we appreciate everything he’s done for the company during his career.”

Analysts’ Take

Responding to the news, Guggenheim analyst Robert Drbul, said, “We believe Walmart operates with bench strength and think there is a number of strong internal candidates but expect significant external interest in this high-profile role.”

Wishing the best for Mr. Biggs’s future journey, the analyst said, “We would not be surprised to see Mr. Biggs obtain board positions in private, public, and/or non-profit opportunities and would expect him to have tremendous optionality. We’ll be watching closely what the future holds for this talented executive and expect Mr. Biggs to take his time as he explores his next chapter.”

Drbul has a Buy rating on Walmart with a price target of $185, which implies 29.7% upside potential to current levels.

Overall, the stock commands a Strong Buy consensus rating based on 15 Buys and 3 Holds. The average Walmart price target of $172.11 implies 20.67% upside potential to current levels. However, shares have lost 6.7% over the past year.

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