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Legendary Leader Rob Walton Retiring from Walmart Board

Retailer also shares 2024 Annual Report and Proxy Statement ahead of annual meeting
Emily Crowe, Progressive Grocer
Rob Walton, right, is retiring from the Walmart board of directors.

Walmart has released its 2024 Annual Report and filed its Proxy Statement as it prepares for its annual shareholders meeting on June 5. As part of its Proxy Statement, the company announced the retirement of Rob Walton from its board of directors, and also reinforced the strength and momentum of its business.

Rob Walton, the son of Walmart founder Sam Walton, officially joined the company in 1969 and served more than 40 years on the Walmart board of directors. 

“Walmart is the world's leading omni-channel retailer. That's a credit to our team today and to those who, over decades, helped to build and shape our company,” said Greg Penner, chairman of the Walmart board of directors. “One of those incredible leaders is Rob Walton, my father-in-law, who recently shared his decision not to seek re-election to our board of directors.”

Continued Penner: “His leadership has been critical as we've grown our business over so many years. There's no doubt Sam would be very proud. On behalf of our associates and the board, I'd like to thank him for his unparalleled and amazing service.”

Walmart’s board has nominated Brian Niccol, chairman and CEO of Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., to replace Walton. If elected, Niccol will be the fifth new independent director to join Walmart’s board since 2017.

Additionally, Penner emphasized the strength of the Walmart business, as well as its path forward. For the current fiscal year, Penner shared that the retailer has generated more than $35 billion in operating cash flow, improved returns and announced a 9% increase in dividend, which is the largest increase in more than a decade.

“Walmart is a people-led, tech-powered omni-channel retailer dedicated to helping people save money so they can live better,” Penner stated. “This is the foundation on which we can deliver results like these, and it starts with the incredible work of our associates.”

Meanwhile, Walmart President and CEO Doug McMillon expressed his appreciation for the company’s associates and also highlighted the investments being made to support those workers in his annual letter to shareholders and associates. Those investments include not only wage increases, but also health care and educational opportunities.

“We’ve committed to invest $1 billion in career-driven training and development by 2026. And to help us move quickly on our goals, we’ve more than doubled the number of skills certificates paid for through our Live Better U education benefit,” McMillon shared in the letter. “We want to do more than create jobs. We want to enable careers and help build wealth.”

Each week, approximately 230 million customers and members visit Walmart’s more than 10,500 stores and numerous e-commerce websites under 46 banners in 24 countries. The Bentonville, Ark.-based company employs approximately 2.3 million associates worldwide. Walmart U.S. is No. 1 on Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, while its Sam’s Club division is No. 8. PG also named Walmart one of its Retailers of the Century.

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