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    Pinterest hires Walmart CTO ahead of IPO

    Pinterest has hired Walmart CTO Jeremy King as its head of engineering ahead of the company's upcoming IPO.

    King announced his departure from Walmart Wednesday, according to a memo obtained by CNBC. He'll now be responsible for Pinterest's "visual discovery engine" that recommends posts and images to Pinterest users.

    Last month Pinterest filed confidentially for a public offering, after a decade as a private company. An IPO and subsequent public disclosures would open the company and its underlying tech up to heightened scrutiny.

    The company is seeking a valuation of at least $12 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal.

    King, who joined Walmart in 2011, had been heading up the largest retailer in the world's technology arm known as Walmart Labs. He was responsible for helping put new technology, like shelf-scanning robots, in Walmart stores and helping the company compete with Amazon online.

    In the latest quarter, Walmart's e-commerce sales surged 43 percent. And the company ended 2018 with online sales growth of 40 percent, thanks to some of the services rolled out under King like in-store pickup and grocery delivery.

    "Not only is Jeremy a respected engineering leader, but from the moment we met him, we knew his values around putting the customer first were aligned with our own focus on Pinners," Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann said in a statement. "As we build products to inspire people to create a life they love, Jeremy's technical experience and leadership are a perfect combination to build a visual discovery engine for all."

    Prior to joining Walmart, King served as a vice president of software development and engineering at eBay, according to his LinkedIn profile.

    Pinterest has been named to the CNBC Disruptor 50 List six straight years, ranking in the 36th spot for 2018.

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