Wal-Mart looks to China for new US marketing chief


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NEW YORK (AP) — Wal-Mart is turning to its marketing chief in China to shape how it relays its message to shoppers in the U.S.

The world's largest retailer named Tony Rogers as chief marketing officer for the U.S. Friday. He will report to Greg Foran, president and CEO of Wal-Mart's U.S. division starting in mid-January. Rogers, a 10-year-veteran at the company, has been the head of marketing and social media in China for two years.

Rogers succeeds long-time marketing chief Stephen Quinn, who retires next month.

Wal-Mart has also beefed up its marketing muscle by hiring former Target marketing executive Michael Francis as consultant. Francis is best known for his nearly 30-year career at Target, where he helped create the discounter's cheap-chic image through whimsical advertising.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., in a shift, is focusing on higher-income shoppers where it sees more growth. But it's still a tricky feat. The Bentonville, Arkansas-based company announced in October that annual profit could fall as much as 12 percent for its fiscal 2017 as it invests heavily online and in its stores. The retailer is facing increasing competition from online players like Amazon.com and from dollar-store chains.

Prior to moving to China, Rogers worked for eight years in the Wal-Mart's marketing division. Before joining Wal-Mart, Rogers spent several years with Pepsi-Co's Frito-Lay division.

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This story has been corrected to show the last name of the marketing chief is Rogers, not Roberts.

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