Mario Pilozzi

Former CEO Wal-Mart Canada and leader of one Canada’s most successful business turnarounds

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Get an insider’s perspective on one of Canada’s most successful business transformations, Wal-Mart Canada. Who better to provide this perspective than the man who led the Wal-Mart team through this transformation and unprecedented period of expansion, Mario Pilozzi, the former CEO of Wal-Mart Canada?

This is the company that is known for its meteoric growth, its legendary efficient distribution and its powerful customer attraction. Wal-Mart’s arrival in Canada led the way for other big box stores, and had a major effect on many Canadian businesses beyond retail. Manufacturers came face-to-face with volume demands they had never seen; shipping and distribution services transformed themselves into supply-chain experts; and commercial real estate developed a whole new face in the expanding suburbs and rural areas. Wal-Mart’s arrival in Canada was a game-changer, and everyone has something to learn from that story.

Success in management is not industry specific: This is a story that has something for all segments of your audience: municipalities, manufacturers, technology, retailers, academe and research. “It is all about the people” says Pilozzi “and people are the common denominator to every organization”.

Mr. Pilozzi’s presentations are illustrated with great stories that resonate with his audiences. They also include no-holds-barred question and answer sessions that are lively, informative and a highlight of every presentation. This is a talk for those who want to learn about how Wal-Mart works so that they can apply those lessons to their own organizations.

As an ICD graduate of the Rotman School of Business, Mario currently sits on a couple of corporate boards. He also consults internationally for different retail formats.

Son of an immigrant family, Mario Pilozzi spent his entire career in retail. He began that career stocking shelves at Woolworth’s in Montreal and worked his way up through almost every job in the company. He earned a series of positions with increasing responsibilities within both Woolworth and Woolco, and was a Vice President in charge of merchandise at the time of the Wal-Mart takeover. Mario was then promoted to the top merchandising position and soon thereafter was tapped to lead the entire Canadian team.

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Speaking Topics

Learning from the best

From human resources to supply chain to greening, Wal-Mart has a record that many organizations envy and want to learn from. Who better to tell this story than the former CEO whose team led the company through its unprecedented growth. This is a speech for organizations that want to sell to, compete with, emulate, differentiate from and otherwise learn from the Wal-Mart experience. This is a lively speech, filled with stories and examples that many in the audience will recognize or identify with.


Changing the culture of an organization

In this speech Pilozzi talks about the difference. After Wal-Mart Canada bought Woolco, he and the team turned that troubled discount chain into a powerhouse, using the same management, the same locations, and the same suppliers. “We did it by changing the culture of the organization” says Pilozzi. With the new culture came a sense of responsibility, an accountability, an entrepreneurial spirit and a new focus. Pilozzi shares his teams’ experiences in implementing the culture change that made the difference.


Balancing Corporate Profits and Corporate Responsibility

Mario Pilozzi, former CEO of Wal-Mart, provides an engaging talk on corporate responsibility from the point of view of the corporation. The audience will learn how decisions are made at the executive level; they will hear about how management balances its responsibility to society, shareholders, employees and suppliers. Using specific examples, Pilozzi shows how the company became involved in the Juno Beach Memorial and how the greening of Wal-Mart affects the bottom line.


Progressive Dairy Operators of Ontario
Mr. Pilozzi did a fine job in reinforcing our message to the members about the need for excellence at every level of their operations. In addition, he arrived several hours early, mixed with the attendees and even attended some sessions. We could not have been more pleased to have him at our conference. C-A Pinkney

Dairy XPO
We are writing to invite Mr. Pilozzi to speak at our event in February. We saw him speak at the Progressive Dairy Operators in Toronto, so we know he can connect well with a dairy industry audience D. Powell

Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency
Mario was a real draw for our FutureFare event and he did not disappoint. His remarks were blunt and to the point; something that the attendees appreciated. The Q & A session went on for quite some time and eventually we had to cut it off. I take that as a positive sign that the audience was engaged and had an appetite to know more. K. Ashgar

Canadian Produce Marketing Association.
Everyone in our audience, from growers to processors to retailers all had something to learn from Mario. During the Q & A, they wouldn’t let him off the stage. S Denis

Microsoft Canada
The event was a great success and Mario was the hit of the event…. We now would like to have him at our Toronto event. J Todd

Canadian Association of Cosmetics, Fragrances and Toiletries Conference
The audience was engaged and involved. They were impressed by Mario’s straight forward and unvarnished answers in the Q&A session. Need more of that. S. Woods

Corporate and Community Social Responsibility Conference
Mr. Pilozzi’s presence brought an increased level of credibility to our event and his insights about balancing corporate responsibility and corporate profits were very encouraging. E Fathi

Retail Council of Canada
Mario's entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to the retail industry and the community at large serve as an inspiration to other business leaders. D. Brisebois

Canadian Hardware and Housewares Association
Mario made a major contribution to the success of our event. R. Rybach 

Ryerson University
Mr. Pilozzi fascinated the standing-room-only audience with his insights and his stories about the Walmart system. D. Hennnigar,

Party Packagers
As we launched Halloween this week your speech was still being talked about by many of our team. Your ability to connect with our people was truly remarkable. Thought you would enjoy hearing a year later the footprint you left on our organization. B. Goodwin