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Neil Ashe said he wanted a break when he left CBS (NYSE: CBS) last year and he got one. Roughly a year after leaving as the president of CBS Interactive, Ashe is literally back in business. His new gig: president and CEO of Walmart Global eCommerce, responsible for just what it says — leading the global e-commerce strategy and operations of the mega-retailer.
As CEO of CNET Networks, Ashe helped engineer the sale of the tech media company to CBS with impeccable timing — selling in mid-2008 for $1.8 billion ahead of the market shift. He spent six years at CNET, including the last two as CEO while the public company was under tremendous pressure. He managed the integration into CBS Interactive, sticking through his original commitment to CBS CEO Leslie Moonves into what he called “an operating job.”
This new job promises a mix as Walmart pushes ahead with what CEO Mike Duke calls “a long-term vision to win.” Walmart has yet to achieve the kind of success with digital content that some think it should have. His background at CNET and CBS could be a major plus.
Working for Walmart (the job is effective immediately) marks the first time Ashe has been on the retail side but his last two jobs included international aspects, something Walmart played up in the late Monday announcement.
He joined the board of LivingSocial during his break, so is familiar with the volatile daily deal space. LivingSocial’s investors include e-tailer Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN), among Walmart’s largest online competitors.