Swanson joined Walmart in 1994 as vice president of people at Sam’s Club. Based upon her contributions in this role, she was promoted to senior vice president and executive vice president leading membership, marketing and logistics at Sam’s Club. As a member of the executive team, she saw the Sam’s Club division through five company president transitions.
Her growth at Sam’s Club led to succeeding roles at Walmart U.S. as senior vice president, change management, and senior vice president, talent development. She completed her career at Walmart serving in a global HR capacity as senior vice president, global associate experience. In that role, Swanson led global labor relations and global culture strategy and enhanced the foundation of the global associate experience.
Among her notable leadership assets, Swanson’s deep experience in culture and change management do not go unnoticed. She has earned a reputation for being a key culture ambassador throughout her career demonstrating a people-first mindset. In addition, she was hand-selected by the Walmart U.S. CEO to lead a cost savings and associate engagement strategy transforming store operations for 1.4 million associates.
In addition to her professional career, Swanson is known for her community leadership in Northwest Arkansas. She was selected by the Northwest Arkansas business community as the 2016 Athena Woman of the Year for her excellence in community service, board leadership and regional impact in Northwest Arkansas. She was also the only leader to receive the top two operations awards from Sam’s Club and Walmart U.S.
Swanson received a bachelor’s degree in fashion merchandising and an honorary MBA from the University of Nebraska. She recently completed the Women's Director Development Program through Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. Her professional network includes National Association of Corporate Directors and Network of Executive Women.
If you’ve ever experienced disruptive change in your career, you know how it feels. Whether it’s a job loss or company acquisition, change can make you feel as though you’ve lost all control. Being prepared for such uncertainty will smooth the transition. Celia Swanson is an accomplished senior executive who spent more than 25 years at Walmart. She completed her career at Walmart serving as senior vice president leading global labor relations and global culture strategy. She brings a legacy of deep expertise in retail, large-scale transformation, company culture and multi-generational workforce engagement.
Celia will share insight that will help you rise above your most uncertain challenges in life and work and help you make the difficult but right decisions to move forward.