Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

New CEO tasked with reinventing Wal-Mart

  • Print

BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is ushering in a changing of the guard as the world's largest retailer confronts slower growth and challenges to its reputation.

Doug McMillon, head of Wal-Mart's international division, will succeed CEO and president Mike Duke, 63, when he steps down Feb 1 after five years in those roles. McMillon, a 23-year company veteran, will become the fifth CEO since Wal-Mart's founder, Sam Walton.

The change is indicative of a recent shift in strategy at the company best known for its cutthroat pricing and big-box stores. McMillon, 47, is expected to infuse a youthful spirit into Wal-Mart's culture at a time when the company is trying to reinvent itself to attract a generation of shoppers who gravitate toward tablets and mobile devices.

The move also is a testament to the company's continued focus on its international division. McMillon, who started at the company in 1984 as a summer intern, left and came back in 1990 to work at Wal-Mart before holding several jobs, including a three-year stint as president and CEO of the Sam's Club division.

But in February 2009, he succeeded Duke to head the international division, which accounted for 29 per cent of its $466.1 billion in annual net sales in Wal-Mart's latest fiscal year. In that role, McMillon has been expanding Wal-Mart's low prices to Brazil and China, while trying to boost profitability by closing some stores in those countries.

"This is a very natural progression," said Brian Sozzi, CEO and chief equities strategist at Belus Capital Advisors.

"Wal-Mart's engine of growth has been international."

McMillon and Duke were not available for comment.

McMillon faces challenges.

Wal-Mart is seeing its low-income shoppers in the U.S. struggling with stagnant wages and rising costs. At the same time, Wal-Mart faces fierce competition from online competitors and dollar chains that offer convenience and lower prices.

The company also has image problems. Wal-Mart is being pressured to further increase its oversight of factory conditions abroad following a building collapse in April in Bangladesh that killed more than 1,127 garment workers. And it continues to face criticism over its treatment of its hourly workers.

Additionally, allegations of bribery in Wal-Mart's Mexico operations that surfaced in April 2012 have slowed business overseas. Wal-Mart allegedly failed to notify law enforcement that company officials authorized millions of dollars in bribes in Mexico to speed up getting building permits and gainsother favours.

The New York Times, which broke the story, reported Wal-Mart officials, including Duke, were allegedly informed starting in 2005 about the bribes. McMillon was not linked to the incident because he wasn't working in the international division at the time.

Dave Tovar, a Wal-Mart spokesman, told The Associated Press Duke's decision to leave Wal-Mart is "a personal one," and had nothing to do with the bribery allegations.

The company said it plans to name McMillon's successor by the end of its fiscal year in early 2014.

 

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 26, 2013 B4

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Maurice Leggett on his three interceptions vs. Alouettes

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS June 23, 2011 Local - A Monarch butterfly is perched on a flower  in the newly opened Butterfly Garden in Assiniboine Park Thursday morning.
  • A baby Red Panda in her area at the Zoo. International Red Panda Day is Saturday September 15th and the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be celebrating in a big way! The Zoo is home to three red pandas - Rufus, Rouge and their cub who was born on June 30 of this year. The female cub has yet to be named and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is asking the community to help. September 14, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What do you think of the new school-zone speed limit?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google