Home Retail Group believes Mr Walden, an American who has held senior roles at electricals giant Best Buy and retail group Sears, will prove "valuable" to the high street chain, bringing with him a wealth of multi-channel business experience.
Mr Walden will take up his new role at the end of the month. His retail career began in the mid-90s, when he was ceo for online supermarket Peapod. He has also held roles at Best Buy Co and Sears, with the latter including Roebuck, Kmart and Land's End, where Mr Walden led the internet, catalogue and home services divisions, along with marketing, merchandising and new concept development.
Home Retail Group chief executive Terry Duddy said: "I am delighted John is joining the team; he brings with him a wealth of multi-channel retail and technology related business experience at senior levels within a range of both large retail organisations and smaller entrepreneurial enterprises. We look forward to bringing a valuable, fresh perspective to the future development of Argos."
Mr Walden will have a tough job on his hands, as multi-channel retailer Argos has struggled in the tough climate, suffering falling sales since 2008. Most recently the chain posted an 8.8% lfl sales decline
in the 18 weeks ended December 31, 2011, with heavy discounting knocking its gross margin down by 50bps. Last October Mr Duddy explained that Argos' core customer demographic has been harder hit by the economic conditions
Mr Walden replaces former Argos md Sara Weller, who left the post in June
for personal reasons.