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Pinterest hires the exec behind Walmart's tech transformation

Former Walmart exec Jeremy King is now Pinterest's Head of Engineering.
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Bloomberg via Getty Images

If you're wondering how serious Pinterest is about turning itself into more of a shopping portal, here's your answer: the company has just hired former Walmart CTO Jeremy King as Head of Engineering. King headed Walmart's e-commerce team and oversaw most of the massive retailer's digital strategy, including in-store pickup of online orders and online grocery pickup. He also led the company's innovation arm called Walmart Labs. While Amazon continues to dominate the e-commerce space, Bloomberg says Walmart's online sales grew by 40 percent last year under his leadership.

Pinterest consistently rolled out shopping-related features over the past few years, such as product pins and visual search for items you can buy. Most recently, it rolled out new tools that make it easier to post products on the platform and turn the website into some sort of a storefront for various brands. They include catalogs for brands, the ability to post shopping ads from businesses' feeds and personalized shopping recommendations based on the pins users having been saving. All those features were created by the company's engineering team, and we can likely expect more now that King is joining the division.

Pinterest chief Ben Silbermann said in a statement:

"Not only is Jeremy a respected engineering leader, but from the moment we met him, we knew his values around putting the customer first were aligned with our own focus on Pinners. As we build products to inspire people to create a life they love, Jeremy's technical experience and leadership are a perfect combination to build a visual discovery engine for all."

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