Irishwoman joins Walmart board

Finance chief of digital-payment company Square Sarah Friar will bring Silicon Valley know-how to the US retailer

Walmart want to expand its e-commerce business and counter the dominance of Amazon. Photograph: Reuters

Walmart want to expand its e-commerce business and counter the dominance of Amazon. Photograph: Reuters

 

Walmart has added more technology savvy to its board with the appointment of Sarah Friar, a native of the North.

Ms Friar, the finance chief at digital-payment company Square, will become the 12th member of the retailer’s board, Walmart said on Thursday. The 45-year-old, who previously worked for Salesforce. com , joins fellow tech executives Marissa Mayer and Kevin Systrom.

Walmart, which owns Asda, has increasingly sought out Silicon Valley know-how to help expand its e-commerce business and counter the dominance of Amazon. The Arkansas-based retailer created an incubator lab last year to seed start-ups in virtual reality and other emerging areas. It has also forged alliances with heavyweights such as Google, China’s JD.com and, most recently, Japan’s Rakuten.

Ms Friar’s employer, Square, started by offering smartphone credit-card readers for small businesses, such as food-van vendors. It now increasingly handles transactions for larger businesses, along with offering tools to manage inventory.

Ms Friar, who holds degrees from Oxford and Stanford, previously worked at Salesforce as senior vice president of finance and strategy. Prior to that, she was a software analyst at Goldman Sachs. – Bloomberg