Sam’s Club gets serious about e-commerce

Former Barnes & Noble executive Jamie Iannone was named president and CEO of Samsclub.com in a restructuring that elevates and integrates Sam’s Club’s online business into the Walmart’s Global eCommerce business unit based in California.

Iannone previously served as president of digital products at Barnes & Noble and oversaw the book seller’s Nook Media unit. He also spent seven years at eBay, earned a bachelor’s degree at Princeton and an MBA at Stanford.

His appointment was announced in a joint statement distributed internally at Walmart by Sam’s Club president and CEO Rosalind Brewer and Walmart Global eCommerce president and CEO Neil Ashe.

“At Walmart, we believe combining the assets of the world’s largest retailer with best-in-class ecommerce capabilities gives our customers and members a unique shopping opportunity,” according to the statement by Brewer and Ashe. “The integration of the Sam’s Club eCommerce operations with Global eCommerce allows us to build on our collective strengths. This, combined with Jamie’s leadership, gives us a competitive advantage no one else can match.”

The change indicates Sam’s is ready to elevate its online game by fully integrating it into the company’s umbrella organization created several years ago known as Global eCommerce. For example, Iannone will be based at the Global eCommerce organization’s San Bruno, Calif., headquarters and report to Ashe rather than Sam’s CEO Brewer who is based in Bentonville, Ark.

The change will result in a higher level of senior management attention as Sam’s Club ecommerce operations become a fully integrate business unit overseen by a C-level executive with solid digital credentials. Sam’s online business was previously overseen as one of many duties by John Boswell in his role as SVP of marketing, member insights and ecommerce. Boswell will be leaving Sam’s in May to lead an international mission for his church.