Walmart poaches CMO from Target

By Katie Deighton | Senior Reporter

April 23, 2020 | 3 min read

Walmart has lured William White over from rival Target, handing him the chief marketing officer role left open by Barbara Messing.

White will join the company mid-pandemic on 11 May. He fills the top marketing slot left open since incumbent Messing departed in August 2019 after just a year in the job.

William White Target Walmart

White worked for Target for seven years

Rich Lehrfeld, the company’s senior vice-president for brand, creative and media, took up the role of interim chief marketing officer in January. He will now report into White along with five of his fellow sectional marketing leaders.

In a memo sent to staff, chief customer officer Janey Whiteside called the new hire "a customer-centric, innovative marketer" and "a passionate leader who loves to build and nurture teams".

The latest marketing news and insights straight to your inbox.

Get the best of The Drum by choosing from a series of great email briefings, whether that’s daily news, weekly recaps or deep dives into media or creativity.

Sign up

She also thanked Walmart’s marketing team for its "patience as we’ve been working through loads of change".

White was previously senior vice-president of Target, where he was responsible for strategy and execution of brand, category and promotions marketing, as well as all paid, owned, and shared media channels.

He joined the retailer in 2013 after an eight-year stint with the Coca-Cola Company and began his career as a media planner for Starcom Mediavest.


More from Career

View all


Industry insights

View all
Add your own content +