Walmart Inc. of Bentonville said Wednesday that it will change the format of its annual shareholders meeting, which takes place June 1 at Bud Walton Arena at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.
In a statement, the retailer said it will take the formal business meeting out of the star-studded celebration event held at the arena. Those proceedings, which include votes on shareholder proposals that aren't always supported by executives, will take place two days earlier, at 10 a.m. May 30 at the John Q. Hammons Center in Rogers.
Walmart said it will stream both events live online.
"The change in format continues an evolution that began when Sam Walton held his first shareholders' meeting in 1970 and presided over five other people at a coffee shop table," Walmart said.
The May 30 meeting will focus on shareholder voting on formal business and proxy proposals. Shareholders can vote their shares electronically, online or by phone if they cannot attend the formal business meeting.
The June 1 event, which Walmart refers to as a "Business Update and Celebration for Associates and Shareholders," will "recognize and celebrate" Walmart employees from around the world. The event "will provide a brief recap of voting results from the May 30 formal business meeting and will include presentations from Walmart’s executive team," the retailer said. "There will also be entertainment to highlight accomplishments from the prior year and thank Walmart associates and shareholders."
Walmart shareholder meetings typically feature appearances from celebrities. Last year's event was hosted by country music star and "The Voice" judge Blake Shelton and featured performances by The Band Perry, Ne-Yo, Mary J. Blige and Gwen Stefani.