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Walmart's John Furner named NRF board chairman


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WASHINGTON – Walmart U.S. president and CEO John Furner has been elected chairman of the National Retail Federation’s board of directors. Furner replaces former Qurate Retail, Inc. President and CEO Mike George, who has served in the role since 2020.

NRF“We are grateful to Mike George for his exceptional leadership as chairman of NRF over the last two years. His guidance and insights have been critical to NRF and our industry as we navigated the pandemic, successfully advocated for critical legislation and ensured that retailers had the tools they needed to overcome the enormous challenges they faced throughout the last two years,” NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said. “We are extremely fortunate to gain John’s leadership at this pivotal point, as retailers move beyond the pandemic,” Shay said. “As we begin a new year and a new chapter for the industry, John’s extensive industry experience and knowledge will guide NRF and retailers large and small into a new era of innovation.”

The appointment was announced Saturday, after the NRF board of directors held its annual winter meeting during NRF 2022: Retail’s Big Show.

“Retailers are the lifeblood of local communities, serving millions of customers each day with the items they need and much more,” Furner said. “Our industry is uniquely positioned to ignite economic growth and positive change in neighborhoods big and small. I look forward to leading the NRF Board during this consequential time, and I’m confident we’ll all continue to rise to the occasion.”

Bloomingdale’s chairman and CEO Tony Spring also joined the NRF board for a two-year term. The full list of NRF board members is available here.

Spring will also begin three-year term as board chair of the NRF Foundation.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to build my career with Bloomingdale’s over the past 35 years, so I know just how transformative a career in retail can be,” Spring said. “I look forward to joining the NRF Foundation as chair, and furthering its mission to provide the skills, resources and opportunities for people to thrive and grow in the retail industry.”

Spring succeeded Macy’s Inc. chairman and CEO Jeff Gennette in the role.

“We are thankful to Jeff Gennette for his dedicated leadership of the NRF Foundation Board of Directors, and we are appreciative of all who have served on our board to help us prepare people of all backgrounds for life-changing careers,” NRF Foundation executive director Bill Thorne said. “We are pleased to welcome Tony Spring as our new chair and to continue our important work to connect more people to the industry that is a great place to start and a great place to grow.”