The boss of Walmart’s core US business Greg Foran is stepping down after eight years with the retail titan.

Foran is leaving to become the boss of Air New Zealand and will be replaced by the head of Walmart’s Sam’s Club business, John Furner. He will report directly to group chief executive Doug McMillion.

The changes will take hold from November 1, although Foran will remain with Walmart until January 31 “to ensure a smooth transition”, it said.

Foran joined Walmart in October 2011 and has served as chief executive of Walmart US since August 2014, playing a crucial role in the retailer’s digital transformation strategy.

He presided over like-for-like sales growth during every quarter that he was at the helm of the division.

Furner has been at Walmart since 1993 when he joined as a part-time worker in the garden centre of one of its supercentres in the US.

He went on to become a store manager, district manager and buyer, before taking on various leadership roles in operations, merchandising and sourcing across Walmart US and Sam’s Club. Furner also spent a spell as chief merchandising and marketing officer at Walmart China.

Prior to becoming Sam’s Club chief executive in 2017, Furner was chief merchandising officer for Sam’s Club.

In his new role at the helm of Walmart US, Furner will work closely with Walmart US ecommerce supremo Marc Lore, to drive the retailer’s multichannel credentials.

Earlier this year, reports from Vox suggested that Foran had fallen out with Lore amid disagreements over whether Walmart should spend money on its stores or more expensive digital ventures.

McMillon said: “John has done a fantastic job at Sam’s Club, and he will continue the momentum we have in Walmart US.

“John knows our business well, having held many different jobs in the company over more than 25 years, and he is helping transform it for the future.”

On Foran’s departure, McMillon added: “Greg Foran has made a huge difference for Walmart, and we are grateful. He built a strong plan from the beginning to strengthen the US business – a plan that made significant choices around investing in wages and benefits for associates and investing in price for customers.

“Greg’s ability to innovate, whether it’s making our stores a competitive advantage in an omnichannel environment or equipping associates with next generation technology and training, has helped position us for the future.

“We will miss Greg and thank him for his leadership. He has made a difference for our customers, associates and shareholders.”