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Apparent produce shuffle at Walmart

by | May 14, 2009
While Walmart Stores Inc., the nation's largest retailer, would neither confirm nor deny that it has shifted some of its key produce personnel to other departments, produce industry sources have said that the chain has reassigned produce executives and replaced them with employees from other departments.

Ron McCormick, who was the chains top produce department executive as vice president of produce, has apparently moved to a non-produce position in Walmarts Local Purchases/Sustainability department. In addition, Pam Kohn, who was Mr. McCormicks boss as general merchandising manager of Perishables, apparently has also moved out of the Perishables department to Global Procurement and has been replaced by DeDe Priest, who was general merchandising manager of the Dry Grocery Department. Mr. McCormicks replacement is not known at this time.

Insiders say that the reorganization in the Perishables department is consistent with the chains reorganization in many other departments over the past 18 months. Walmart has been rebuilding departments from the ground up, asking employees to basically re-interview for the jobs they hold. Some remain in their positions while others move on to different positions in the corporate structure or leave the company. Walmart has been known to move executives from one department to another at the corporate level.

Mr. McCormick was on vacation and could not be reached for comment on his changing of positions.