Former Walmart Executive Named CEO of 8th & Walton

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Walmart veteran Mike Cockrell joins supplier education firm in new role to accelerate growth and development

I look forward to helping 8th & Walton fulfill its mission of educating suppliers to Walmart.

8th & Walton, a leading provider of Walmart supplier education and information, announced the appointment of Mike Cockrell as president and CEO. Cockrell, a 30 year veteran of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., will be instrumental in leading the company’s efforts to accelerate growth initiatives while enhancing existing services.

“After a 31 year career at Walmart I look forward to this new opportunity to help 8th & Walton fulfill its mission of helping suppliers to Walmart be more successful by refining our existing product offering and developing new courses and services to keep pace with changing retailer expectations,” Cockrell said. “I also look forward to leading 8th & Walton’s efforts to expand its product and service offering globally and to other major retailers.”

Cockrell retired from Walmart in February 2011 and his appointment at 8th & Walton will be effective April 22. He joined Walmart in 1980 as an assistant manager and was promoted to store manager in 1982 before becoming a buyer in Walmart’s home office in 1984. Over the next decade he held positions of increasing responsibility within Walmart’s merchandising organization and became a vice president and divisional merchandise manager. In 1993, Cockrell returned to store operations as a regional vice president where he oversaw rapid expansion of Walmart in Texas until 1997 when he became a vice president of marketing. In 2004, Cockrell joined Walmart International as a vice president of marketing and in 2007 he was named chief merchandising officer of Walmart’s Indian joint venture with Bharti. Cockrell spent four years with Kmart prior to joining Walmart and received a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing from the University of Arkansas.

“We are excited to have an executive the caliber of Mike Cockrell join 8th & Walton as CEO as we enter a new phase of growth,” said 8th & Walton co-founder Matt Fifer. “Mike distinguished himself during a 31 year career at Walmart where he made important contributions to the company’s growth, which is why I am confident his leadership and vision will allow 8th & Walton to realize its growth plans.”

In addition to Cockrell’s appointment as CEO, 8th & Walton announced the appointment of Jeff Clapper as chief marketing officer, a move that will enable the company to more effectively market its products and services through online and social media strategies. Clapper comes from an entrepreneurial background, having sold Clapper Publishing, his family’s 50-year old consumer magazine business in 2006, and launching two venture-backed businesses since then: Skill Technology and Zapiddy.

Also assuming new responsibilities is Amanda Apple who was promoted to director of operations after previously serving as operations manager. She will play a more significant role in curriculum development, event management and the efficient administration of the company’s expanding day to day operations.

“8th & Walton is entering an exciting new era under the leadership of a seasoned executive in Mike Cockrell who will be supported by the marketing vision of Jeff Clapper and even greater contributions from Amanda Apple.”

For more information: Contact Matt Fifer at 479-715-6700 or matt(at)8thandwalton(dot)com

About 8th & Walton: Founded in 2006 in Bentonville, Arkansas., 8th & Walton is the leading provider of retail supplier education services on key Walmart topics such as Retail Link. The firm currently offers more than 80 courses across a wide range of disciplines, designed and taught by supplier company representatives who possess first hand knowledge of the complexities of working with major retail customers. 8th & Walton offices are located in Bentonville, Arkansas, San Diego, California, and Mexico City, Mexico with class offered in more than 50 cities throughout the Americas.

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