Hefner out, Redfield in as Sam’s Club new head merchant

Sam Club president and CEO Ros Brewer on Thursday named Charles Redfield as Sam’s newest EVP merchandising to replace Linda Hefner who will relocate to Chicago, according to an internal announcement.

The change comes only a few months after Brewer, a former Walmart U.S. store operations executive who joined the company in 2007, received the distinction of being named the first female CEO in Walmart history. She replaced Brian Cornell who resigned earlier this year citing family reasons and a desire to relocated to the Northeast. Less than a month after his departure he accepted a senior leadership role at PepsiCo. The announcement regarding Hefner’s departure did not indicated whether she was joining another company.

Her departure created an opening for Charles Redfield to rejoin Sam’s Club effective May 29. He previously held a senior merchandising role at Sam’s, but two years ago was transferred to Asda where he served as chief merchandising officer. According to Brewer, during Redfield’s stint at Asda, “He’s brought renewed simplicity, clarity and purpose to the U.K. merchant team, and been an integral part of the price leadership and quality step-change seen by U.K. customers.”

As for Hefner, she spent three years at Sam’s after initially joining the Walmart U.S. merchandising group to lead efforts in the home area. She arrived at Sam’s a few months prior to Cornell and under their combined leadership Sam’s experienced several years worth of accelerating same-store sales growth.

“Under Linda’s leadership for the last three years, the Sam’s Club merchandising team significantly improved the relevance, quality, and value of our merchandising offerings,” according to Brewer. “During her tenure, Linda strengthened our merchandising organization with improved structure, training, talent, and process, and led a collaborative and strategic planning approach with suppliers. Linda has been a key leader at our company and is responsible for much of the growth and success we’ve seen in recent years at Sam’s Club.”