Heather Thomas

VP Walmart International People Team

Heather currently leads the Walmart International people team where she focuses on succession planning, talent development and career mapping across 12 countries, encompassing the key strategic objectives of growth, inclusion, and wellbeing. She ensures robust foundations of data, insights and process are delivered through leveraging technology and sharing best practice from around the Walmart world.

Prior to this role Heather was the VP Walmart International Real Estate responsible for ensuring robust real estate strategies across all the international markets. This focused both on new space growth as well as real estate management of the existing estate of >6000 stores and 140 distribution centres. This included management of a strong governance process for the approval of individual project investments and was supported by the preparation of action focused financial analysis and reporting. In addition, the team supported the market real estate teams with leading data analytics projects, methodologies and delivery of a robust investment model platform, ensuring strong investment decisions.

Before moving to the US Heather spent 4 years in real estate within Asda (UK) where she initially led the Market Development team responsible for the development of real estate strategy for the UK and implementation of a new suite of data, systems and methodologies. She then moved to lead the acquisition and estates team for the North of England, Scotland & Ireland.

Heather started her career in finance, initially within the accounting function but predominantly operating in commercial finance roles, business partnering with various areas of the business across retail, trading, logistics and ecommerce

Heather is an effective, energetic leader with expertise across commercial finance, retail, data analytics, supply chain and real estate. She is known for delivering results at pace, building high performing teams, successfully implementing change and driving efficiencies to ensure the highest results. She has an ability to operate both strategically and tactically. Her analytical and commercial skills support problem solving and effective decision making, with the ability to always ensure a customer focus.

Heather is passionate about people development and is a mentor, advocate and implementor of talent development programs. She has played a key role in the implementation of a number of development programs focused on driving gender diversity within the workplace. These programs include WIRED (women in real estate development) to develop, retain and advance the progress of women in all area’s of real estate, IWIL (International Women in Leadership), a development program she co-created focusing on the development of selected top talent across all the international markets Walmart operate in and finally the Red Shoe development program focused on the development and growth of all the US based female directors in Walmart International.