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Musab Balbale

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NEW YORK — Musab Balbale is leaving his position as vice president and general manager of Walmart Beauty, and will reportedly take the top merchant role at CVS Health.

Balbale announced his departure from Walmart in a post on his LinkedIn page. Industry sources say he is headed to CVS Health, to fill the post that has been vacant since senior vice president and chief merchant George Coleman left in July of 2021. Coleman had been responsible for CVS Health’s front-of-store business, including strategy, product selection and assortments, pricing, promotion, personalization, omnichannel and store design. Those front store business units included Consumer Healthcare, Beauty & Personal Care, Consumables, General Merchandise, Store Brands and Alternative Formats, according to Coleman’s own LinkedIn page.

Balbale’s post did not mention where he was headed next, but alluded to a “next adventure” that he would provide more detail on soon.

Musab Balbale

Musab Balbale

“After nearly 6 incredible years, I am leaving Walmart,” he wrote. “I am immensely grateful for all the opportunities these years have provided me. From the infectious energy of Marc Lore at to the scale and ambition of Walmart eCommerce; from a single digital eCommerce channel to the complexities of integrated omni-retail – I have been privileged to work alongside passionate, driven and smart retail disrupters.

“For any of you that have the opportunity to work for Steve Breen, Kieran Shanahan or Latriece Watkins — take it! I promise you they will make you better.

“These last two years, supporting Walmart’s Omni beauty business, have been particularly thrilling. I am proud of the speed with which the Walmart beauty team is transforming the business — and in turn shifting the narrative of Walmart Beauty. I have no doubt that they will continue their ambitious trajectory and I will be celebrating their success from afar.

“While I am excited for the next adventure (more on that soon!) I do want to take this moment to say thank you to the colleagues and friends that have made this chapter so rewarding.”

Balbale, who joined Walmart when the company acquired, is credited with remaking Walmart’s beauty business in the past year and a half by bringing in new brands that attract a wider audience and more diverse group of consumers, including younger shoppers who previously hadn’t ventured into Walmart’s beauty aisles.

“By mirroring the diversity of our customers we are better able to offer an assortment that meets all of their needs,” Balbale told MMR in an interview in 2021, when he was named one of the publication’s “People of Made a Difference.”

That goal was also reflected in the team Balbale built to execute Walmart’s blueprint for building beauty into a destination. Under his direction, Walmart has brought in beauty leaders from top brands, beauty merchants and professional beauty suppliers.

“We’ve been focused on building a diverse team. This includes not only demographic diversity but also diversity of experiences,” he said. “We have brought together merchants with incredible Walmart experiences and also beauty leaders from the industry.” The Walmart team is a reflection of today’s consumers — a mission Balbale is especially proud to see in action. To better reflect how shoppers buy beauty, Balbale also fused the e-commerce and store teams together to score synergistic opportunities. That move was fueled by his own career path.

“My role evolved from focusing on e-commerce to leading beauty across both stores and digital channels,” Balbale said. “This reflects how customers shop, and it has allowed us to serve the customer across their full customer journey. In particular, e-commerce prepared me to understand this digital journey; and it has taught me to always ask how we attract and retain customers to Walmart. Consequently, we have accelerated our efforts to bring trending, premium and core beauty products to Walmart.”