Over the last twenty-five years, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) has enjoyed incredible growth ultimately leading to the company becoming the world’s largest retailer and private employer. While the Waltons are a fixture among Forbes’ annual list of billionaires, their trusted employees and former CEOs are treated as such.
Wal-Mart: Time to move on
Thursday, the company announced that former President and Chief Executive Officer Lee Scott and fellow Board member Chris Williams would not stand for re-election at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT)’s Annual Shareholders’ Meeting which is held at the end of the first week in June.
Scott served as Wal-Mart’s president and chief executive officer from January 2000 until his retirement on Jan. 31, 2009 but company governance dictated that he remain on the board for a period of five years having held the CEO position. Williams is stepping away having fulfilled his corporate governance mandated ten years of service having joined the board in 2004.
“Lee and Chris have demonstrated thoughtful and insightful leadership in their service and commitment to the Board,” said Rob Walton, chairman of the Board of Directors yesterday. “We offer our deep thanks to both for their service to our company, our Board and our shareholders.”
The successes of each will be remembered
Williams joined Wal-Mart’s transportation team in 1979, ultimately rising to the position of executive vice president of logistics in 1993. In that time he helped build one of the most efficient and technologically advanced distribution networks the world has ever seen.
Scott had a short stint as president and chief executive officer of the Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) Stores Division in 1998 before his rise to president and CEO just one year later.
“Lee displayed strong character in leading Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT), and he has been a vital part of our history during an important period in the company’s growth,” Walton said. “During his 30 years of service, Lee’s extraordinary contributions helped us make significant strides in areas such as sustainability, reputation, diversity and inclusion of all people. My dad would have been proud of Lee’s accomplishments in leading Walmart. As they worked together, he understood the valuable role Lee played in managing logistics and the importance of our professional drivers.”
Following the departure of the two men in June, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT)’s board will number 14 with each of them standing for re-election which is nothing more than a formality at the end of the day, June 6, 2014.