- Katie Finnegan, principal of Walmart's incubation arm, Store No. 8, and CEO of video commerce company Spatialand, which was acquired by Store No. 8, will be leaving those companies, a Walmart spokesperson confirmed to Retail Dive via email. Her last day will be June 7.
- Finnegan on Wednesday shared information regarding her departure on LinkedIn stating, "After 7.5 years of an **amazing** run, I have made the decision to leave Walmart. From Hukkster, to @Jet, to Walmart, to Store No. 8, to Spatial&..... I couldn't have planned a more interesting and rewarding journey."
- This past January a job posting revealed that Store No. 8 was looking for a CEO to develop and lead a "stealth company," but no other details have come out on that development yet.
Katie Finnegan has been a driving force behind Walmart's recent technology and innovation strategies.
Walmart revealed the launch of the Store No. 8 incubator concept two years ago as an arm of the company with the expressed objective to experiment and develop startups that help push retail forward.
Since that time, the company acquired the v-commerce startup Spatialand, led by Finnegan. Spatialand debuted a virtual reality experience this past February through a partnership with the DreamWorks film "How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World" at Walmart locations in select cities in the U.S.
"Spatialand was founded based on the belief that VR will transform merchandising and retail and we can't wait to finally share this uniquely immersive shopping experience with consumers across the country," Finnegan said in a February statement.
Despite Finnegan's resignation, Walmart will push forward with tech-based initiatives. "Store No 8 will continue its focus on incubating technologies," a Walmart spokesperson said in a statement to Retail Dive. "[W]e recently launched our latest portfolio company, LOCAL Theory, led by Michael McGuire, which is focused on the application of Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning for localized merchandising."