April 8, 2016, 4:07 PM

Wal-Mart’s online marketing head returns to a startup firm

Brian Monahan has returned to NewCo, a company he helped launch.

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The head of marketing for Walmart.com has left Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to return to a business-conference and festival company he helped launch.

Brian Monahan joined Wal-Mart in 2013 as vice president of marketing for Walmart.com as the retailer announced plans to expand e-commerce efforts overseas and extend the reach of its e-commerce research arm, @WalMartLabs, through acquisitions. Monahan’s online profile says he led brand strategy and cross-channel marketing spending for the retailer.

M
onahan told Internet Retailer on Monday he is proud he oversaw Walmart.com's 136% traffic growth, to 130 million from 55 million when the joined the company. 

"It was a great run," he says. 

In December, Wal-Mart announced Stephen Quinn, 56, would retire in January as Wal-Mart’s chief marketing officer for the United States. Tony Rogers, formerly the marketing chief for Wal-Mart’s China operations, replaced Quinn. Wal-Mart, No. 3 in the Internet Retailer 2015 Top 500 Guide, could not be reached for further comment.

Monahan returns to NewCo, a company he helped start in 2012 with John Battelle, known for helping start technology magazines such as Wired in 1993 and The Industry Standard in 1998. Monahan’s title is “chief evangelist” and he’ll focus on strategy, sales and marketing, according to NewCo. On its website, NewCo describes its festivals as having “the focus of a business conference, the feel of a music festival, and the model of an artist open studio.”

Battelle wrote in a blog post Thursday that “Brian’s talents in media, marketing, branding, communications and research come at a crucial time” because NewCo will this year launch initiatives that include NewCo Shift, a business news site that will cover the economy.

M
onahan describes NewCo and its growth as his "passion project."

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