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Walmart announced yesterday that Shelley Broader, the former Hannaford Bros. and Sweetbay Supermarkets executive who has been serving as chief merchandising officer at Walmart Canada, has been promoted to president/CEO of the retailer’s business north of the border.

She succeeds David Cheesewright, who has been running Walmart Canada since 2008 and now has been named executive vice-president, president and CEO of a new regional management team for Walmart in Canada, the U.K. and Sub-Saharan Africa, and will oversee business development in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Canada.
KC's View:
It has long been the position here that Shelley Broader is one of the best weapons that Walmart has in its arsenal, and this move probably was inevitable ... and I suspect that it won’t be that long before she finds herself back in Bentonville with even greater responsibilities. (The only problem with Broader getting this promotion was that I felt the pressure of finding all new superlatives to describe her.)

I first got to know Shelley Broader when she moved from Maine to Florida, leaving Hannaford and given the responsibility by Delhaize of completely remaking the failing Kash n’ Karry chain there. She worked with her team to convert the company to Sweetbay Supermarkets, turning it into a more competitive entity in a very tough marketplace.

One of the things that most impressed me about Broader was the new application form that she created for Sweetbay, which she wanted to have a greater food orientation. In addition to asking all the usual questions, she’d also ask people what three items always are in their refrigerators, what their favorite meals are, and what their favorite restaurants are; she wanted to hire people who liked food, and figured she could teach them how to be retailers.

Broader also is a terrific people person, understanding how to motivate people and use their language. (It is noted in The Big Picture: Essential Business Lessons from the Movies that she likes to use Star Wars imagery when talking to employees.)

She’s got tons of great experience that will help her in the new post. In addition to her Delhaize experience, she also was COO at the Michael’s crafts chain (where she worked for Doug McMillon, who preceded her in moving to Walmart), and also was a senior vice president at Sam’s Club.

I’ll say it again. Shelley Broader is one of the best weapons in Walmart’s arsenal.

BTW...It was just yesterday that I wrote about Walmart...

The general feeling out there seems to be that there are going to be a series of shufflings, reassignments, and retirements ... as Walmart tries to get its groove back.

Ain’t over yet.