E-commerce is not something Wal-Mart Stores just discovered in the past few years. The retail giant stood up its online division in 1999 after acquiring a site and converting it to Walmart.com, according to Jeremy King, executive vice president and chief technology officer for Walmart U.S and eCommerce.King was the afternoon keynote speaker at the Northwest Arkansas Technology Summit held in Rogers on Tuesday (Oct. 17). He is responsible for Walmart Labs, the technology arm of the retail giant, and it’s a job he’s had since late 2015. King said he was recruited to Wal-Mart six years ago by then-CEO Mike Duke. He said Wal-Mart had let its online business languish but had begun buying some startups when he joined the company.
“We were a small shop with about 60 people, which had mostly come on through acquisition. In 2011 we had an outdated system but Wal-Mart made 14 acquisitions over the next few years adding talent and technology capabilities. When I started we had about 70,000 items online and we [now] have just surpassed 65 million,” King said.