Shortly after Marc Lore joined Walmart, an employee asked the company’s new U.S. ecommerce chief at an all-hands meeting if there were any books he read for inspiration. Mr. Lore replied that he wasn’t much of a reader, preferring instead to spend his time thinking, said one current Walmart employee who saw the presentation and another who heard about it from colleagues.
The moment led to snickering among Walmart employees, some of whom saw it as a sign that Mr. Lore—who joined Walmart after it bought his ecommerce startup Jet.com for more than $3 billion—didn’t quite fit the mold of the typical executive at the Bentonville, Ark.–based retail giant. “He’s a little less polished,” one of the employees said. “He’s a little more New Jersey. He’s a little more out there and aggressive.”