Business

A spotlight on Walmart’s five Black executives

BY Preta Peace Namasaba June 21, 2024 7:34 AM EDT

For the 10th consecutive year, Walmart was named the largest corporation by revenue on the Fortune Global 500 list. In 2022, the company generated $611.3 billion in revenue with more than 10,500 stores and clubs in 24 countries, employing 2.3 million people.

With over 1.6 million employees in the U.S., Black workers comprise approximately 21% of the company’s workforce. Walmart’s 2023 Culture, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Annual Report reveals that the hire rate of 29.29% for African Americans is at an all-time high. But does this diversity extend to executive positions? Walmart’s Executive Committee is deficient of Black members and its 44-member Senior Leadership group is comprised of only five African-Americans.

1. Latriece Watkins

Watkins is the Executive Vice President and Chief Merchandising Officer, Walmart U.S. She has worked with the company for 24 years, initially joining as a real estate intern. She has risen through the ranks from Senior Director, Real Estate and Merchandising at Sam’s Club to Sr. Category Director-Adult Beverages, Vice President, Adult Beverages, SVP Merchandising Snacks and Beverages, SVP Enterprise Strategy, SVP US Store Operations, SVP Merchandising Consumables and OTC, Senior Vice President and Executive Vice President. Watkins received her bachelor’s degree in political science from Spelman College and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Arkansas School of Law.

2. Cedric Clark

A Communication and Media Studies graduate from Washington State University, Clark is the Executive Vice President, Store Operations, Walmart U.S. He is responsible for operations in over 4,700 stores and leads 1.2 million store associates. Clark joined the company in 2002 as a sporting goods associate going on to become a Market Asset Protection Manager, Regional Operations Support Director, Market Manager, Regional Director of Operations, Regional General Manager, and Regional Vice President. He left in 2015 to become the Vice President of Store Operations at PetSmart. He re-joined Walmart 2 years later as Regional Vice President, Sam’s Club and as Senior Vice President of the East business unit for Walmart U.S.

3. Denise Malloy

In April 2023, Malloy became Walmart’s first-ever Senior Vice President and Chief Belonging Officer. The role is ‘an evolution of the chief diversity officer role’ and Malloy heads Walmart’s global diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) strategy. She previously worked as vice president of diversity & inclusion at Johnson Controls, leading the company’s DEI strategy in 150 countries, and appearing on the Forbes 2021 Best Companies for Diversity & Inclusion list. Malloy also worked as a Specialist at Xerox Corporation, Vice President of JPMorgan, and Director of Enron Energy Services. A General Business Finance graduate from Texas Southern University, she is passionate about building a culture where people know they belong.

4. Kelvin L. Buncum

Buncum is the Executive Vice President, Neighborhood Markets, Walmart U.S. where he oversees all aspects of Neighborhood Market operations. He previously worked as the Regional Vice President of the Atlanta/North Georgia region, Regional Vice president of the North Central region, Vice President of Innovations and Global Business Processes, Vice President of Operations Strategy and Integration, and Regional General Manager for the Mid-South region. Before joining Walmart, he was the co-founder and CEO of International Medical Solutions.

Buncum has held senior leadership roles at Pepsi Bottling Group, US Radio and Joyner Communications, Digital Equipment Corporation, AT&T Bell Laboratories, and Northern Telecom. He served as chairman of the Georgia Beverage Association and has sat on the boards of the Safe America Foundation, APEX Museum, Georgia Food Industry Association, Warrick Dunn Family Foundation, Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity Foundation and Hughes-Spalding Children’s Hospital. Currently, he is a board member of Feeding America and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Arkansas. Buncum graduated from North Carolina A&T State University where he graduated with a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering and later received an Honorary Doctorate. An MBA holder from Harvard Business School, he is immersed in Walmart’s Criminal Justice Shared Value Network and HBCU Initiative.

5. Ciara Anfield

Anfield is the Senior Vice President, Chief Member and Marketing Officer, Sam’s Club where she oversees end-to-end member strategy such as Membership, Marketing and Member Experience. She joined the company in 2008 as Associate Marketing Manager rising through the ranks to the position of Vice President, Retail Marketing in 2019. Anfield became Vice President, Marketing of Sam’s Club in 2020 as vice president, Marketing, where she elevated the Sam’s Club brand through innovative programs and events like Sam’s Club’s first-ever Big Game spot. With a Bachelor’s degree from Harding University and an MBA from Harvard Business School, she began her career at JPMorgan Chase & Company.