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Wal-Mart names 13 leaders

– Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s largest retailer, named 13 executives to its U.S. merchandising operations, marking the latest shake-up since Chief Executive Officer Doug McMillon took the reins in February.

As part of the changes, Scott Huff will be promoted to executive vice president overseeing merchandising operations for the United States, according to a company memo sent by U.S. Chief Merchandising Officer Duncan Mac Naughton. Huff has been at Wal-Mart since 1994, when he started as an intern.

The company also named new executives to oversee everything from consumables and sales innovation to baby products and adult beverages. The idea is to accelerate growth and boost efficiency, Mac Naughton said in the memo, which was obtained by Bloomberg. Facing a slump at its U.S. supercenters and Sam’s Club locations, Wal-Mart has been seeking ways to jump-start sales, including opening more small-format stores.

“We continue to talk about the changing customer, recognizing their needs and more efficiently serving them,” Mac Naughton said. “These moves provide a more specialized service to our customers, while also creating better alignment and a greater visibility across our business.”

The reshuffling follows the appointment of a new chief for this month and the promotion of Canadian CEO Shelley Broader to a job overseeing Europe, the Middle East and sub-Saharan African in May. The company also announced in April that Greg Foran, the CEO of Wal-Mart’s Chinese unit since 2012, would take over as president and CEO of Asia. He replaced Scott Price, who is moving to the company’s headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas.

In the merchandising changes, Michelle Gloeckler will become executive vice president of consumables and U.S. manufacturing. She has worked at Wal-Mart for five years, following more than two decades at Hershey Co. John Aden, who had run merchandise services, was named executive vice president of sales innovation for the U.S.

In his almost five months as CEO, McMillon has been working to revive U.S. growth. The turnaround was hampered last quarter by slow traffic at Sam’s Club locations as well as by harsh winter weather. Sales and profit trailed analysts’ estimates in the period, which ended April 30.

Wal-Mart also forecast second-quarter profit that missed estimates. Earnings will be $1.15 to $1.25 a share, compared with the $1.28 projected by analysts.