Phillips to lead Rx merchandising at Walmart

Mark Phillips was elevated to the role of VP of pharmaceutical merchandising at Walmart after previously serving as the retailer’s senior director of merchandising for small formats.

In his new role, Phillips will lead the pharmaceutical merchandising team and report to Labeed Diab, president of health and wellness at Walmart. Phillips began with Walmart in 1990 as an hourly employee in the company’s accounts payable department at Sam’s Club. He also worked in the Walmart’s U.S. store operations group as an assistant manager in Joplin, Mo., and Garden City, Kan., before becoming a buyer in the retailer’s supercenter food division.

“Mark has a successful history as a buyer for multiple departments within Walmart U.S. and Walmart International. He most recently served as the senior director of merchandising in small formats and helped to turn this area into a key growth vehicle for the company,” according to an internal Walmart memo. “We will take the opportunity to utilize Mark’s experience and talents to grow our pharmaceutical business and help our customers save money and live better.”

Phillip’s promotion follows a key personnel change in April that saw Diab elevated to the role of president of health and wellness to fill a position occupied by Dr. John Agwunobi who left the company. Diab had previously served as an SVP of operations for Walmart’s Midwest division.

Both changes come as Walmart has begun to aggressively expand small formats that contain pharmacies while continuing to experiment with new health care clinics that aim to disrupt traditional delivery models.