Two Walmart executives have been named to Fortune magazine’s Most Powerful Women list in 2020.
Judith McKenna, the president and chief executive officer of Walmart International, and Kathryn McLay, the president and CEO of Sam’s Club, both snagged spots on the magazine’s list of the top 50 most powerful women in United States. Walmart was the only Arkansas company represented on the Fortune list.
McKenna was ranked as the 10th most powerful woman in business, up from last year when she was ranked at no. 15. As the CEO and president of Walmart International, McKenna oversees more than 6,000 retail stores and 700,000 associates in 26 countries, according to her corporate biography.
She has appeared on the 50 Most Powerful Women list every year since 2015.
In choosing McKenna for the no. 10 spot, the magazine’s editors cited her preparation and response to the COVID-19 pandemic as a major factor. Her reaction in the opening days of the global pandemic were “crucial” for Walmart’s success, according to Fortune.
“McKenna and her team prepared for what was to come globally, increasing grocery pickup and delivery capacity and securing PPE for employees as well as donating some to health care workers. Despite shutdowns in India, South Africa, and parts of Central America, revenue (excluding the impact of currency rates) rose 1.6% during the most recent quarter at the $120 billion plus business,” her profile reads.
McKenna has served in her current role since February 2018 and previously was the executive vice president and chief operating officer of Walmart U.S. and the executive vice president of strategy and development for Walmart International.
She also previously served as the chief operating officer for Walmart International’s grocery chain subsidiary Asda Stores.
The second Walmart executive named to the Fortune list was Kathryn McLay, who charted for the first time at no. 31.
McLay has held multiple roles in the Walmart corporate structure since 2015 and has been the Sam’s Club CEO since November 2019. She joined Walmart as vice president of U.S. finance and policy before moving to the company’s supply chain division and then being named executive vice president of Walmart U.S.’S Neighborhood Markets stores.
Fortune also credited McLay for a rapid response to the COVID-19 public health crisis, highlighting her team’s work on developing a shopping app for senior and other vulnerable customers.
“She accelerated the rollout of curbside pickup and her team designed and deployed a concierge shopping app in only six days that let senior and immunocompromised customers make purchases without leaving their cars – more than 150,000 transactions took place on the platform. Strong results have followed at Walmart’s $59 billion in sales members-only warehouse club business with operating income up 16.6 percent during the pandemic,” the profile reads.
Another Walmart executive was named to Fortune’s Ones to Watch list.
Latriece Watkins, Walmart U.S.’s executive vice president for consumables, was named to the Ones to Watch list, which recognizes the women most likely to join the 50 Most Powerful Women list in the future.
In her role, Watkins heads up Walmart’s merchandising for baby, beauty, household chemicals, household paper, personal care, pets, and over-the-counter pharmacy products.