Various strategies to implement efficiently quantum Monte Carlo (QMC) simulations for large chemical systems are presented. These include: (i) the introduction of an efficient algorithm to calculate the computationally expensive Slater matrices. This novel scheme is based on the use of the highly localized character of atomic Gaussian basis functions (not the molecular orbitals as usually done), (ii) the possibility of keeping the memory footprint minimal, (iii) the important enhancement of single-core performance when efficient optimization tools are used, and (iv) the definition of a universal, dynamic, fault-tolerant, and load-balanced framework adapted to all kinds of computational platforms (massively parallel machines, clusters, or distributed grids). These strategies have been implemented in the QMC=Chem code developed at Toulouse and illustrated with numerical applications on small peptides of increasing sizes (158, 434, 1056, and 1731 electrons). Using 10–80 k computing cores of the Curie machine (GENCI-TGCC-CEA, France), QMC=Chem has been shown to be capable of running at the petascale level, thus demonstrating that for this machine a large part of the peak performance can be achieved. Implementation of large-scale QMC simulations for future exascale platforms with a comparable level of efficiency is expected to be feasible. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.