Albertsons Plans to Pilot Amazon-Go Style Tech, Adds Chief Data and Analytics Officer

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Albertsons Plans to Pilot Amazon-Go Style Tech, Adds Chief Data and Analytics Officer

05/23/2018
Gautam Kotwal is joining Albertsons as EVP and chief data and analytics officer

Albertsons Companies is reportedly planning a pilot of an Amazon-Go style technology and has added a new chief data and analytics officer who hails from Kohl's and Netflix.

During its analyst day Tuesday to talk about the proposed merger with Rite Aid, company officials touted a test of a similar idea, Boise Dev reported.

“We are experimenting with Amazon Go-like technology today where someone could come in and pick up a Plated order, it would know that you were in the store, it would tender an order and you could leave outside of the check stands," Shane Sampson, chief marketing and merchandising officer said during the presentation.

The company's presentation materials said the pilot is for a "limited set of products like Plated and other prepared foods." Albertsons Companies VP of Communication and Education Christine Wilcox told BoiseDev they have not yet started to pilot the technology. A similar idea is being applied to gas stations - with a trial soon coming to Boise.

Albertsons Appoints chief data and analytics officer

Gautam Kotwal is joining Albertsons as EVP and chief data and analytics officer. In this new role, Kotwal will be responsible for leading Albertsons Cos.’ innovation efforts to drive value, create competitive differentiation and design personalized omnichannel shopper experiences.

“Our omnichannel platform is something our organization is deeply committed to, and to best serve our customers who shop each channel, we must begin to look at data across not only our customer base but also within our company to further innovate within our industry,” said Jim Donald, president and COO. “Gautam possesses a unique blend of technical skill, boundless enthusiasm and a commitment to developing people and teams, all of which will serve him well in this new role. I’m excited to have Gautam join our company and formalize our data and analytics efforts under his leadership so that we can better engage our customers, no matter where they shop with us.”

Most recently, Kotwal served as VP of Analytics, Data Platform & Data Science Engineering for Kohl’s Department Stores for the last two years. He built Kohl’s Big Data team, with the overarching goal of enabling an insights-driven organization by democratizing data and science. He joined Kohl’s first in 2012 as the director of Innovation before moving to director of Innovation and Data Science. Prior to working at Kohl’s, Gautam Kotwal worked at Netflix where he began as an engineering manager and was quickly promoted to director of Engineering where he was responsible for Netflix Streaming test strategy, vision, test architecture & test automation.

Gautam Kotwal will be based at the company’s campus in Pleasanton, CA, and report to Donald.