The head of Walmart’s Chilean operation will assume responsibility for all of Latin America following the retirement of current president and CEO Eduardo Solorzano.
Enrique Ostale, president and CEO of Walmart Chile and an executive with a unique background, will replace Solorzano on March 1 and assume responsibility for Walmart operations in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Nicaragua. Solorzano will remain as chairman of Walmart de Mexico. Filling Ostale’s role in Chile is Gian Carlo Nucci, currently EVP and COO of Walmart de Mexico.
The timing of the changes to Latin American leadership is noteworthy as Walmart is in the midst of its own internal investigation and those of outside regulatory bodies relating to allegations of bribery and corruption at its Mexican subsidiary.
"For 27 years, Eduardo has been a champion for our customers in Mexico and across Latin America, and we are pleased he's staying on as chairman of Walmart de Mexico," said Doug McMillon, president and CEO of Walmart International. "Under his leadership, the first Walmart Bank was founded, Central America became part of Walmart de Mexico and the every day low prices strategy extended to Central and South America. Likewise, Enrique's leadership in Chile has been key to both the successful integration of D&S with Walmart following our 2009 acquisition, and also to Walmart Chile's ongoing success. Gian Carlo's experience and record of accomplishments at Walmart de Mexico ensure we will continue to innovate in service to our customers in Chile."
Ostale joined D&S in 1989, serving as the manager of the company's finance division, merchandising division and Lider format division, and then as the CFO. In 2000 Ostale left D&S to serve as CEO of El Mercurio Online, the website for Chile's El Mercurio Newspaper. He later served as dean of the business school of the Adolfo Ibanez University from 2002 to 2006. In 2006, he rejoined D&S as president and CEO and following Walmart's acquisition of D&S in 2009 he led D&S's transformation to Walmart Chile.
Nucci joined Walmart de Mexico in 1993 and served in several roles, including responsibilities for all Sam's Club operations in Mexico, before being named vice president, VIPS Restaurants, in 2003. He then served as vice president, Superama, before being promoted to SVP of Sam's Club and then EVP of specialized formats. He became COO of Walmart de Mexico in January, 2010.
Walmart’s operations in Latin American are extensive, with 3,832 retail units now present in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Nicaragua.