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Walmart marketing head to leave firm

Walmart Inc. is reorganizing its U.S. marketing operations as the department's chief prepares to leave the company Aug. 30.

Barbara Messing is moving back to the San Francisco Bay Area, according to a post on her LinkedIn profile in which she describes her year at Walmart as "an incredible experience."

Janey Whiteside, Walmart's chief customer officer who joined the Bentonville retailer the same time as Messing in August 2018, announced Messing's impending departure and the reorganization in a memo to employees Monday. Whiteside said a retail marketing team has been created within the marketing organization "to best support Merchandising and key initiatives across our stores and e-commerce business."

Besides searching for a new chief marketing officer, Whiteside said, the company is also looking to hire a senior vice president of retail marketing to oversee the new team as well as seasonal programs. Former Target Corp. marketing chief Michael Francis, who has served as a strategic consultant to Walmart's U.S. marketing operations, will lead the retail marketing team in the interim, she said.

-- Serenah McKay

Venture Center gets fintech award nod

The Venture Center has been selected as a finalist in the Best Fintech Accelerator/Incubator category of the inaugural Finovate Awards.

Finovate hosts conferences around the world that include financial technology leaders, investors and financial services executives to showcase emerging companies.

The Venture Center was one of six finalists in its category. A panel of industry judges will select the winner based on alumni market performance and alumni testimonials. The winner will be an accelerator or incubator that consistently nurtures fintech companies.

"Being a finalist for this award shows the world that Little Rock, Ark., is truly blazing a path for fintech innovation on a global scale," said Wayne Miller, the Venture Center's top executive.

The Venture Center has developed a globally recognized fintech accelerator series, drawing applicants from over 50 countries.

-- Noel Oman

Arkansas Index slips 1.28, ends at 412.86

The Arkansas Index, a price-weighted index that tracks the largest public companies based in the state, closed at 412.86 Tuesday, down 1.28.

"Despite a favorable ruling easing some rules for banks, financial shares led U.S. stocks lower on Tuesday to end a three-day rally as investors awaited comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell at the end of the week," said Chris Harkins, managing director at Raymond James & Associates in Little Rock.

The index was developed by Bloomberg News and the Democrat-Gazette with a base value of 100 as of Dec. 30, 1997.

Business on 08/21/2019

Print Headline: News in brief

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