Duke Becomes Wal-Mart C.E.O.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. said Friday that its board of directors has elected Mike Duke, currently president of Wal-Mart International, to replace Lee Scott as president and c.e.o., as of Feb. 1, 2009. Duke was additionally elected to the company's board of directors, effective immediately. Scott will remain with Wal-Mart as the chairman of the executive committee of the board.

The board also approved the promotion of Eduardo Castro-Wright to vice chairman of Wal-Mart, effective immediately. In addition to his present duties as president and c.e.o. of Walmart U.S., Castro-Wright will take on management responsibility for the mega-retailer's Global Procurement operation.

"This management change occurs at a time of strength and momentum for Wal-Mart," noted Rob Walton, chairman of the Wal-Mart board of directors. "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."

Duke has worked in various capacities within the company, having headed Wal-Mart's Logistics Division, U.S. operations, and International operations, while Castro-Wright's team-building and -leading abilities and international experience helped propel him to his current position.

"Wal-Mart is very well positioned in today's economy, growing market share and returns, and is more relevant to its customers than ever," according to Duke. "Our strategy is sound and our management team is extremely capable."

Scott, who was Wal-Mart's president and c.e.o. for the past nine years, will be available as an advisor to Duke for a period of time, as Scott's predecessor, David Glass, did for Scott, the company said.

Wal-Mart added that it planned to name Duke's successor as president of Wal-Mart International by the end of the fiscal year.

Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart Stores operates Walmart discount stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets, and Sam's Club locations in the United States. The company operates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, and the United Kingdom and, through a joint venture, in India.
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