The appointment of a Walmart veteran as the new CEO of Massmart could signal the US giant is going to become more involved in the day-to-day operations as it looks to turn around the struggling retailer. Mitchell Slape, CEO of Walmart Japan, joins Massmart — which is 52% owned by the world’s largest retailer — at a time when it is losing market share to rivals such as e-commerce site Takealot. The announcement of Slape’s appointment came on the day Massmart warned earnings for the six months to June could more than halve, sending shares tumbling more than 12%, the biggest one-day drop since January 21. Argon equity analyst Bjorn Samuels thought it was unlikely that Slape’s appointment was a sign that Walmart planned to increase its stake in Massmart, but did think "this could give them more operational control". Massmart, overall, had arguably been a disappointing investment for Walmart, he said. "Massmart’s share price [of R68] is down significantly since Walmart took its initial s...

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