Doug McMillon, who unloaded trucks at a Wal-Mart distribution center for hourly pay while working his way through college, became president and CEO of the world's largest retailer in February 2014.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. of Bentonville announced November 2013 that its board of directors elected McMillon, then 47, to succeed Mike Duke, 63, as president and CEO. McMillon was also elected to the company's board of directors.
McMillon was previously president and CEO of Walmart International, which has more than 6,300 stores and more than 823,000 employees in 26 countries outside the U.S. From 2006-2009, he was president and CEO of Sam's Club, Wal-Mart's warehouse club retailer.
McMillon began his career with Wal-Mart in 1984, unloading trucks at a distribution center.
"The opportunity to lead Wal-Mart is a great privilege," McMillon said in a news release issued when he was elected CEO. "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," he said.
As CEO of Walmart International, McMillon was in command of the retailer's fastest growing segment, one that was particularly important at a time when the U.S. economy was in recession and sales at the retailer's domestic stores slumped.
But the International division has also seen its share of growing pains. During the third quarter fo 2013, Wal-Mart closed 50 underperforming stores in Brazil and China, two of its most important growth markets. The retailer was also forced to end a franchise agreement with Bharti Retail for the retail business in India, where Wal-Mart has struggled to get more of a foothold amid that country's strict regulations regarding foreign companies doing business there.
International has also been dogged by allegations that the company violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The allegations surfaced in an April 2012 New York Times report that said Wal-Mart’s Mexican division paid more than $24 million in bribes so stores could be opened faster than if the company had gone through normal government channels. The article also said Wal-Mart learned of the allegations in 2005, but didn’t pursue them.
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