Walmart’s international president and chief executive Judith McKenna is retiring from her role after more than two decades with the US retail giant.

The retailer confirmed that Kath McLay will take over the role following McKenna’s departure, while Chris Nicholas has been confirmed as the new president and chief executive of Walmart-owned US chain Sam’s Club.

McKenna will step down from her role as boss of Walmart International on September 11, but will “remain with the company until January to help ensure a smooth transition”.

McKenna was previously chief operating officer at Asda before joining Walmart and leading the retailer’s strategy, real estate, M&A and other areas for its international segment.

She went on to take up the role of chief development officer of Walmart US before becoming chief operating officer for three years, prior to her role as chief executive of the international business.

McLay, who is currently Sam’s Club chief executive, has been with the business since 2015. Walmart said in a statement that McLay will “do a phenomenal job” at leading the international business.

Nicholas will step up from his role as Walmart US chief operating officer where he led the store and supply chain teams and helped “develop a strategy to create a more intelligent and automated end-to-end supply chain”.

Nicholas was also previously chief financial officer for Walmart US and its international business.

Walmart president and chief executive Doug McMillon said: “Judith, we are extremely grateful for everything you’ve done for our associates and for our business. I have appreciated your partnership and have loved watching you lead and make the world a better place through your work. 

“I’m thankful for the depth of leadership in our company, and I am excited to see Kath McLay step into the role of president and CEO of Walmart International.

“I’m also excited that Chris Nicholas will become the president and CEO of Sam’s Club US.”

  • Get the latest grocery news and analysis straight to your inbox – sign up for our weekly newsletter