Wal-Mart Names CMO

CHICAGO Wal-Mart has promoted John Fleming, who headed the retailer’s Web efforts, to chief marketing officer, effective May 2.

Fleming succeeds Robert Connolly, 61, who is retiring at the end of the year.

Fleming, 46, will continue to oversee the Bentonville, Ark., company’s online busines while adding responsibility for the overall marketing programs, including advertising, consumer research and promotional materials. He will report to Wal-Mart president and CEO Michael Duke and serve on the company’s executive committee.

“The depth of Wal-Mart’s management team allows us to tap into tremendous internal talent, like John, to ensure continuity,” said Duke in a statement. “We also look forward to what his unique style and creative spirit will bring to our marketing efforts.”

Fleming joined Wal-Mart four-and-a-half years ago, having spent nearly 20 years at competitor Target Corp. His final assignment with that Minneapolis-based retailer was svp of merchandising, responsible for fashion.

Wal-Mart spends about $500 million annually on advertising. Its lead agencies are Omnicom Group’s GSD&M in Austin, Texas, and independent Bernstein-Rein in Kansas City, Mo.