Walmart has appointed a former Google and Amazon executive to “a new elevated chief technology officer and chief development officer role”.

Suresh Kumar will report directly to Walmart chief executive Doug McMillon and joins as the retail giant focuses on “transforming customer and associate experiences” as it slugs it out with Amazon.

Kumar was most recently at Google, where he was vice-president and general manager of display, video, app ads and analytics.

Before that, he was corporate vice-president of Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure and operations. He also spent 15 years at Amazon in roles including vice-president of technology for retail systems and operations and oversaw the etailer’s retail supply chain and inventory management systems.

McMillon said: “The technology of today and tomorrow enables us to serve our customers and associates in ways that weren’t previously possible. We want to take full advantage of those opportunities.

“Suresh has a unique understanding of the intersection of technology and retail, including supply chain, and has deep experience in advertising, cloud and machine learning. And he has a track record of working in partnership with business teams to drive results.”

Kumar said: “Walmart is one of the great success stories in how a company evolves over time to serve the changing needs of its customers and today it is in the midst of a very exciting digital transformation.

“With more than 11,000 stores, a high-growth ecommerce business and more than two million associates worldwide, the potential for technology to help people at scale is unparalleled, and I am excited to be part of this.”