Hope Springs From the 2022 International Celebration

Associates Week 2022

Associates from around the world celebrate wins, share knowledge and give hope.

The Walton Arts Center was abuzz with excitement on Wednesday morning as associates and leadership from around the globe gathered for the 2022 International Associates Celebration. Together, we reflected on what we have in common and what we can learn from one another. And, of course, we celebrated our wins!


There’s Power in Thinking Small

When you’re standing in a crowd of associates from all over the world, it’s natural to feel like you’re part of something huge.


But consider what Doug McMillon, President and CEO of Walmart Inc., said: “We try to keep the company small, even if it’s big in some ways.”


Thinking small—supporting local businesses and focusing on each customers’ experiences—is exactly what makes us so special.


“Our founder Sam Walton said it really well, ‘There is only one boss. The customer,’” said Omer Tore, EVP and CFO, Walmart International. “We’re an incredible business, and we deliver incredible results.”


Speaking of incredible results, Omer added that our ecommerce business grew 100% in the past two years!


Tough Times Create Great Teams

Though many traveled thousands of miles to converge in Bentonville, some associates were there in spirit. Xiaojing Christina Zhu, President and CEO of Walmart China, emphasized our purpose via a broadcast from Shanghai (pictured below).

She shared examples of how associates in China found ways to bring goods to customers during the pandemic where they were needed most. They developed a mobile hypermarket, and some associates used their own cars or shopping trolleys to bring supplies into communities.


They served the customers and took care of each other. “Tough times create great teams,” Christina said. “Being in a position to help and do something for people is actually very empowering.”


Recognizing the many hardships that the international teams have overcome in the past two years made every win all the more inspiring.

International associates wearing superhero capes on stage at the International Associates Meeting

It’s no surprise that a superhero theme kept cropping up into each of the speeches. “Together our strength is diversity, and partnering is truly our superpower,” said JP Suarez, Executive Vice President, Chief Administration Officer and Regional CEO of Massmart and Chile.


Caring for Our Planet

There were also impressive regeneration efforts this past year:

  • Fleets of electric delivery vehicles in Chile and India
  • Walmart Canada became the first major Canadian retailer to offer carbon-neutral last mile delivery.
  • Massmart collected tons of e-waste, built a solar plant and launched an effort to restore habitat for African penguins.


Sharing Hope 

We’re a proudly diverse bunch, but a common thread ties us together. “Outside, we may look like many different businesses, but we are more alike than we are different,” said Judith McKenna (pictured below), CEO of Walmart International.

“Our foundation has never been stronger. That means Walmart International can win.”


She asked associates to open the envelopes in front of their seats. Inside each were two bracelets with the word “hope” written on them. One was to keep, and one was to share with someone who needs it.

Red and blue "hope" bracelets given to International associates during the annual meeting

“It’s your superpower to give hope,” explained Judith. “Because giving hope to one person sets off a reaction. When you’ve got hope, amazing things can happen.”

Catch up on all the news from Associates Week 2023.