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New Walmart CEO Takes The Helm In February

Doug McMillon

Walmart Stores Inc.’s board of directors has elected company veteran Doug McMillon, 47, to succeed Mike Duke, 63, as president and CEO, effective Feb. 1. McMillon also was elected to the company’s board of directors, effective immediately.

McMillon currently serves as president and CEO of Walmart International—a segment of Walmart’s overall operations with more than 6,300 stores and more than 823,000 associates in 26 countries outside the U.S. From 2006 to February 2009, McMillon served as president and CEO of Sam’s Club, an operating segment of Walmart with sales of more than $46 billion during his tenure.

“This leadership change comes at a time of strength and growth at Walmart,” said Rob Walton, chairman of Walmart’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,” Walton added. “He has broad experience—with successful senior leadership roles in all of Walmart’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 Walmart’s size and scale to make a difference in the lives of people, wherever they might be.”

McMillon began his career with the company in 1984 as a summer associate in a Walmart distribution center. In 1990, while pursuing his MBA, he rejoined the company in a Tulsa, Okla., Walmart store. Much of McMillon’s 22-year career has been in merchandising in the Walmart U.S. division, with experience in food, apparel and general merchandise. He also has held various merchandising positions at Sam’s Club and Walmart International in addition to holding leadership roles in all three operating segments of the company.

McMillon serves on the board of directors of the U.S. China Business Council, the executive committee and board of directors for Enactus (formerly known as SIFE), the Dean’s Advisory Board for the Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas and the board for Crystal Bridges, an American art museum. McMillon also serves on the board of directors for Walmart Mexico, and he has been recognized as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.

Originally from Jonesboro, Ark., McMillon graduated from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville with a bachelor of science in business administration. He received his MBA in finance at the University of Tulsa.

“The opportunity to lead Walmart is a great privilege,” 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.”

Walton praised Duke for his work at Walmart.

“Mike put in place the building blocks for the next-generation Walmart, and today the company is stronger, more global and more unified across all our stores, mobile and online,” Walton said. “He also reinvigorated the productivity loop and delivered strong financial performance. During his tenure the company made critical investments in talent and technology to expand Walmart to even more customers globally and stepped up its progress on social and environmental issues. Mike also has a strong commitment to diversity, and has been especially engaged in advancing women throughout organization. He set a tone at the top to never be satisfied, to always accelerate and do better, while remaining true to the culture that has been core to the company’s success.”

Duke said, “This is a great company and it has been an honor to help advance Sam Walton’s vision of giving people around the world a better life. Our associates make it all possible and I’ve learned so much from them. No matter where I traveled, our associates continued to inspire me with their commitment to living our values, serving our customers and taking care of each other.”

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


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