Retailers’ Healthcare Ventures Momentum Not Shaken by Departures

  • Recent senior staff turnover at a number of retailer-based healthcare ventures doesn’t change analysts’ outlook for the efforts, MedCity News reported.
Image of Walmart (WMT) logo on Walmart store with clear blue sky in the background
Source: Jonathan Weiss /
  • Walmart’s (NYSE:WMT) vice president of health and wellness, Sean Slovenski, left the company earlier in August, prompting CEO John Furner to say the firm would name his replacement in the coming weeks,
  • The familiar pattern, MedCity said, could be seen in Haven Health — the joint healthcare venture formed by Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A, BRK.B) and JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) — which has seen several high profile departures this year.
  • Best Buy’s (NYSE:BBY) chief of health, who oversaw the firm’s acquisition of GreatCall, also left the company recently.
  • Forrester Senior Analyst Arielle Trzcinski said that Slovenski’s departure does not change her outlook of Walmart’s healthcare efforts. “I think if anything, this gives them an opportunity to find someone with clinical experience or that has worked in the provider setting operationalizing digital health or virtual care,” she told MedCity.
  • “At Walmart’s scale, incremental growth ideas simply don’t help. They need big new ideas that can add tens of billions in revenues,” said James Gardner, a retail health expert who has been closely following Walmart Health’s expansion. “At the same time, Walmart surely realized that it has privileged assets that Amazon and others don’t — most notably, 3,600 Supercenters and 195 million weekly shoppers.”
  • WMT stock is up 2% since the Aug. 4 announcement of Slovenski’s exit. The S&P 500 index has added 2.4% in the same period.

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