Duke elected new c.e.o. of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

by Keith Nunes
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BENTONVILLE, ARK. — The board of directors of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has elected Mike Duke, 58, to succeed Lee Scott as president and chief executive officer of the company, effective Feb. 1, 2009. Mr. Duke also was elected to the company’s board of directors, effective immediately.

Mr. Scott has led numerous initiatives that have had an affect on the food industry, including Wal-Mart’s focus on sustainability and efficiency, its push into the local and organic food markets, as well as the company’s shift to case-ready meats. He will continue as chairman of the executive committee of the board.

"This management change occurs at a time of strength and momentum for Wal-Mart," said Rob Walton, chairman of the Wal-Mart board of directors and son of the late company founder, Sam Walton. "Our overall management team has never been stronger. We are confident that the strategy we have in place is the right one for future success and Mike has been actively involved in developing and executing this strategy."

Mr. Duke has broad experience throughout the company, having successfully led Wal-Mart’s Logistics Division, U.S. operations and International operations, Mr. Walton said.

"Lee Scott has made an extraordinary contribution to Wal-Mart during his almost 30 years of service as an associate, and as our president and chief executive officer for the last nine years," Mr. Walton added. "My dad would have been proud of Lee and his accomplishments."

Wal-Mart plans to announce Mr. Duke’s successor as president of Wal-Mart International by the end of the fiscal year.

Other personnel moves announced by the retailer include Eduardo Castro-Wright, 53, being promoted to vice-chairman of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., effective immediately. In addition to his current responsibilities as president and c.e.o. of Wal-Mart U.S., Mr. Castro-Wright will assume management responsibility for the company’s global procurement operation.

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