Doug McMillon tapped to lead Wal-Mart

by Eric Schroeder
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BENTONVILLE, ARK. — The board of directors of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has elected Doug McMillon to succeed Mike Duke as president and chief executive officer, effective Feb. 1, 2014. Mr. McMillon also was elected to the company’s board of directors, effective immediately.

Mr. McMillon most recently was president and c.e.o. of Wal-Mart International, where he had oversight for more than 6,300 stores and more than 823,000 associates in 26 countries outside the United States. He will be the fifth c.e.o. since Wal-Mart became a publicly traded company in 1970. Founder Sam Walton was the first, followed by David Glass, Lee Scott and Mr. Duke.

“This leadership change comes at a time of strength and growth at Wal-Mart,” said Rob Walton, chairman of Wal-Mart’s board of directors. “The company has the right strategy to serve the changing customer around the world, and Doug has been actively involved in this process. The company has a strong management team to execute that strategy.

“Doug is uniquely positioned to lead our growing global company and to serve the changing customer, while remaining true to our culture and values. He has broad experience — with successful senior leadership roles in all of Wal-Mart’s business segments — and a deep understanding of the economic, social and technological trends shaping our world. A merchant at heart, Doug has both a long history with our company and a keen sense of where our customers globally are heading next. He has also shown strong leadership on environmental sustainability and a commitment to using Wal-Mart’s size and scale to make a difference in the lives of people, wherever they might be.”

Mr. McMillon joined Wal-Mart in 1984 as a summer employee in a Wal-Mart distribution center. He rejoined the company in 1990 and during his career has had several roles in merchandising in the Wal-Mart U.S. division. He was president and c.e.o. of Sam’s Club, an operating segment of Wal-Mart, from 2006 to 2009.

“The opportunity to lead Wal-Mart is a great privilege,” Mr. McMillon said. “Our company has a rich history of delivering value to customers across the globe and, as their needs grow and change, we will be there to serve them. Our management team is talented and experienced, and our strategy gives me confidence that our future is bright. By keeping our promise to customers, we will drive shareholder value, create opportunity for our associates and grow our business.”    

Mr. Duke joined Wal-Mart in 1995 and has led the logistics, distribution and administration divisions as well as Wal-Mart U.S. He has been president and c.e.o. of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. since February 2009.

Mr. Duke will continue as chairman of the executive committee of the board and, in the tradition of his predecessors, stay on as an advisor to Mr. McMillon for one year. The company plans to make an announcement on Mr. McMillon’s successor as c.e.o. of Walmart International by the end of the fiscal year.
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