Judith McKenna

Influential Business Leader, Walmart International President & CEO from 2018-2023
Judith McKenna in blue Walmart zip-up
  • Credited with bringing innovation to life in senior executive roles at Walmart U.S. (as COO) and Walmart International (as President and CEO)
  • Motivates organizations to create a culture of belief among teams while paying special attention to the “Tiny Noticeable Things” (TNTs), which emphasizes the importance of leaders connecting with their people in small, but meaningful ways
  • Shares her playbook for developing the attributes of a highly influential modern leader in today's world

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Regarded as the quintessential strategist and a creative business thinker, Judith McKenna is the former president and CEO of Walmart International known for spearheading innovative programs and initiatives that transformed the store’s international operations. From 2018-2023, she headed all aspects of Walmart’s global footprint — leading a team of 500,000 associates across 5,200 stores and 18 countries, and delivering industry-leading results through the “Strong Local Businesses, Powered By Walmart” strategy. As a business leader, she is a deep advocate for creating customer-centric cultures in which profit is the product of the prioritization of people and purpose, and outlines this values-based philosophy as the foundation for success for any organization.

McKenna draws upon her extensive experience at the helm of one of the world’s largest corporations to offer valuable insights and action plans related to the complex topics that keep business leaders up at night. She offers audiences a rare look at how things are done at behind the scenes at a global industry leader, while sharing tested and timeless approaches for leading with purpose and through change, creating a culture of innovation, and identifying new avenues for growth on the path to successful business transformation. McKenna is an enthusiastic personality who introduces a new formula for modern leadership and underscores the importance of the “Tiny Noticeable Things” (TNTs) that make a big difference for building trust and connection, and empowering people to perform at their best. She’s an expert at reflecting upon the pivotal moments from her own career to connect with audiences and instill in them the belief that they are capable of thriving in even the most challenging environments.  

Prior to her tenure leading Walmart International as president and CEO, McKenna served as COO and executive vice president for Walmart U.S. During this time, she supported 1.2 million people across 4,500 stores and led major transformational change, including launching online grocery shopping and other digital initiatives, while creating efficiencies in the organization’s supply chain. As a leader who practices what she preaches when it comes to prioritizing people, McKenna oversaw programs and initiatives that led to investments in associate compensation and the launch of Walmart Academies, and made new technologies available to support the success of team members. Her additional previous roles include executive vice president of strategy and development for Walmart International, COO for Asda Stores Ltd., and more than a decade as Asda’s chief financial officer.

McKenna has received various honors and recognitions throughout her more than three decades as one of the most influential movers and shakers in the business world, including being named one of Fortune’s “Most Powerful Women in Business” and one of Forbes’ “World’s Most Powerful Women.” She also serves as the chair of Bolsa-listed company Walmex and a board member for Unilever, Flipkart, and PhonePe in India.

As a lifelong champion for developing people at all levels and creating opportunities for learning and advancement, McKenna continues to carry out this mission as a sought-after thought leader and business advisor.  

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Leading with Heart: The Attributes of Modern Leadership. Judith McKenna’s influence was felt throughout the Walmart organization during her near 30-year tenure, which included five years as the CEO of Walmart International. At the root of what made her such an impactful leader is her commitment to exhibiting the attributes of modern leadership, which she outlines as follows:

  • The Formula for Impactful Leadership: Intelligence Quotient (IQ) + Emotional Quotient (EQ) + Resilience Quotient (RQ) + Hope Quotient (HQ)
  • Special attention to the “Tiny Noticeable Things” (TNTs), which emphasizes the importance of leaders connecting with their people in small, but meaningful ways
  • Instilling a collective sense of belief that provides the foundation to build strong cultures  

Her insights and stories prepare audiences to lead with clarity, conviction, and heart to create a ripple effect that uplifts team members, sparks large-scale transformation, and elevates businesses.  

A Big Brand Leader’s Blueprint to Business Transformation. In 27 years serving in various executive roles at Walmart, culminating with five years as the president and CEO of Walmart International, Judith McKenna spearheaded so many of the transformative programs that directly influenced the company’s upward trajectory. From shaping Walmart U.S. and International into the standard for eCommerce to elevating the brand experience for personnel and customers, McKenna possesses a keen eye for the steps organizations can take to evolve their businesses and arrive at breakthrough bottom line results. In this talk, she addresses the critical role leaders play in establishing a vision that people — from the top down — are inspired by, while sharing strategies for identifying and capitalizing on gaps in the market, fostering a culture of agility, and devising a blueprint for tracking progress towards realizing your organization’s next iteration.

From Ideas to Impact: Creating a Culture of Innovation. Former Walmart International president and CEO Judith McKenna was a driving force behind many of the innovations that continue to elevate the customer experience online and at its locations all over the world. In this session, she uses examples from her experiences leading groundbreaking teams at Walmart International to share practical strategies any leader can adapt to create cultures where creativity thrives, collaboration flourishes, and disruptive ideas are embraced. McKenna talks through the contradictions trends and changes bring to innovation, as well as the importance of empowering employees at all levels to take risks and experiment with new approaches to develop new products, services, and solutions that will drive sustainable growth and create a competitive advantage.

The Secret DNA of High-Performing Teams. Drawing from extensive research and her own experiences leading cross-functional, multi-national teams, former Walmart International and U.S. executive Judith McKenna reveals the behaviors that make teams work, as well as the traits that set world-class teams apart from adequate teams. As she examines the intricate dynamics that foster collaboration, communication, and cohesion within teams, she highlights the key factors that empower teams to achieve remarkable results and thrive in today’s complex business landscape.

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