Duke not done yet, sustainability and WSJ beckon

Former Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., president and CEO Mike Duke is among an impressive roster of top business executives slated to participate in a Wall Street Journal executive conference called ECO:nomics — Creating Environmental Capital.

The event, scheduled for April 2-4 at the Bacara Resort in Santa Barbara, Calif., is billed as a day of no holds barred interviews in an interactive format that offers unparalleled networking.

In addition to Duke, other notable participants included energy company executives such as Nicholas Akins, president and CEO of American Electric Power, Theodore Craver Jr., chairman, president and CEO of Edison International and Helge Lund, president and CEO of Statoil ASA. Participants from top CPG companies include Irene Rosenfeld, chairman and CEO of Mondelez International and Donnie Smith, president and CEO of Tyson Foods.

“Nothing is as it was,” according to promotion materials for the event. “New countries are taking the lead, new technologies are ascending and old players are getting hit hard. Which raises the question: what’s next at the intersection of business and the environment?”

Duke’s perspective on that topic is of keen interest to those in the CPG world since he was a forceful proponent of broadening and accelerating an ambitious sustainability agenda that had been laid out by his predecessor, former Walmart CEO Lee Scott, in 2005. Duke stepped down from his role as Walmart’s CEO on January 31 and now serves as chairman of the executive committee and remains a member of the board of directors.

In that capacity, Duke and others are expected to offer, “straight talk from global CEOs, industry experts, policymakers and leading thinkers about the tough questions — questions that dig into the ups and downs of a massive economic fields that’s too often shrouded in hype,” according to promotional materials.


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