Walmart U.S. Meeting Recap

Celebrating You; Associates Week 2023

The Walmart U.S. Associate Meeting kept the associate — and the customer — front and center.

The Walmart U.S. Associate Meeting kicked off with energy, as Executive Vice President, Store Operations Cedric Clark (pictured below) and the BU leaders took the stage with shoutouts to each area of the business. 

And though the associate is at the center of the meeting, a question continued to rise: Who’s number one? As refrains of “the customer always, huh!” echoed off the walls of the Basketball Palace of Mid-America, Bud Walton Arena, it was impossible not to feel something special happening.

We are family

When hosts Anthony Anderson and Cedric the Entertainer (pictured above) hit the stage, the vibes only amplified. “Everyone in the building know, you are more than just associates, you are ambassadors — everyone in this room is Walmart family,” Cedric said. 

Next, President and CEO John Furner got up to talk business, reminding associates of the company’s incredible $79 billion growth — in the last three years alone. He offered associates a heartfelt thank you for their role in driving growth, then turned to the omnichannel strategy in the business, underlining one of the morning’s themes: We’re one business, all on one team.

“You run fulfillment centers, you have new technology, and the simplicity of being one team is really making a difference for us,” John (pictured above) said. “It’s our job to innovate, to stay ahead, to remain creative — and if we do that, we can win.”

A place of opportunity

Chris Nicholas, chief operating officer, took the stage next, with a message of Walmart as a place of opportunity.

“We believe Walmart is a place where you can get a good job, and use it to build a great career,” Chris said. “Pride, opportunity and belief are built into Walmart’s DNA, and when I’m out visiting our stores there’s nothing more exciting than associates whose stories exemplify this. And those are everywhere.”

One of the most moving moments of the morning came as we were introduced to Shauna King-Coffman (pictured above, right), area manager out of DC 6035 in Ottawa, Kansas. She lost her husband in 2018, turning her life upside down. With the support of her coworkers and the associates around her, she went back to school through LBU in the hopes she could build a better future.

The Live Better U program offers more than just a degree, it lets you work at your own pace and set your own schedule,” Shauna said. “Through that program, and with the support of Walmart, every single one of you have the opportunity to achieve your goals and see your dreams become reality.”

All on one team

Cedric Clark and Dave Guggina, executive vice president, Supply Chain, took the stage next to thank associates for an incredible first quarter. They also shared some amazing news: Walmart was just certified as a Great Place to Work. To keep that ranking, the duo asked associates to keep working as one team, building out Walmart’s end-to-end capacity.

Dave and Cedric also discussed the devastating fire at a DC in Indianapolis last year, and the aftermath of that event, when Walmart took care of its associates by finding them temporary roles in Indiana and beyond.

They introduced us to Phoebe Clark, who took a role at a nearby store after the disaster. She learned a lot there, and now she’s headed back to a brand-new distribution center with a brand-new role. Congratulations, Phoebe!

Judy Werthauser (pictured above), the new Walmart U.S. chief people officer, hit the stage next. It was her first Associates Week and she was impressed by the atmosphere!

“I see your passion, I see you leaning in to care for each other,” Judy said. “All of you are the bridge between what is today, and what can be tomorrow. You hold the key to our potential.”

Making customers happy, every day

After a rousing game of ‘What’s in the Box,’ we heard from William White, who began his speech with a simple question: “Do you know what makes our customers happy?” The answer? Associates!

He explained that every great shopping experience makes customers proud to call Walmart their own. Each time a customer finds just what they’re looking for, they understand that Walmart can do even more for them. William summed it up nicely: “Walmart doesn’t just have everything — it has your thing.”

Next up Latriece Watkins (pictured above) and Tom Ward took the stage to close the event with the power of one team. “If you take one thing away from this meeting today, it is a huge thank you for everything you do to move our business forward,” Tom said.

Associates making it happen

And move it forward you have. In the last year, associates picked more than 8 billion items, filled more than 600 million online orders, delivered more than 2.3 million In-Home deliveries — and at least one of them was a very cute toy for Tom’s dog. “Together, we are changing the future of retail,” Latriece said. “One store, one order, one delivery at a time.”

Next, Chief Revenue Officer Seth Dallaire talked about turning customers into members through Walmart+, adding great new benefits like savings on fuel, earlier access to merchandise and an exciting partnership with Paramount+. To underline the value of the Paramount partnership, Seth brought out the star of Paramount Network show YellowstoneCole Hauser (pictured above).

Ending the party, Anthony and Cedric introduced country music singer Sam Hunt. Wearing almost entirely denim, Sam put on a great show, and left the associates excited for what’s yet to come.  

Follow along all week on Workplace, Walmart World social accounts and don’t forget to follow our event hashtag at #WMT2023. You can also read more about all things Associates Week right here