Wal-Mart Stores Inc. signed a $3.3 billion deal to buy web retailer Jet.com Inc., bringing in some outside help to jump-start growth at the retail giant’s e-commerce operations.
The deal is the largest-ever purchase of a U.S. e-commerce startup and a sign Wal-Mart Chief Executive Doug McMillon sees the shift to online shopping and the expansion of Amazon.com Inc. as existential threats to the company’s five decades of growth.
Jet’s 45-year-old founder, Marc Lore, will take on a senior leadership position on the e-commerce side of the company, and Wal-Mart’s top online executive, Neil Ashe, is expected to depart, a person familiar with the situation said. Mr. Ashe joined Wal-Mart as head of e-commerce in 2012.
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