OPERATIONS

Wal-Mart’s Castro-Wright resigns MetLife board to focus on ‘protecting good name’

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Bentonville, Ark. — Amidst allegations of involvement in a foreign bribery scandal, Wal-Mart Stores vice chairman Eduardo Castro-Wright has vacated his seat on the board of life insurer MetLife, according to a Tuesday announcement by Wal-Mart.

In a letter to MetLife CEO Steve Kandarian, Castro-Wright said that the recent events at Wal-Mart would require his “immediate and personal attention. Accordingly, I now must focus my energy in spending personal time with my family and in protecting my good name and business reputation.”

A copy of the letter was filed Tuesday with security regulators.

Castro-Wright was named in the New York Times report last weekend as a key figure in the alleged foreign bribery scandal at Wal-Mart.

He has been a member of the MetLife board since March 2008 and his term was not due to expire until 2014.


Read more about the alleged Wal-Mart bribery scandal.

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OPERATIONS

Wal-Mart answers with global anti-bribery watchdog appointment

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Bentonville, Ark. — As part of its answer on Tuesday to a New York Times article regarding compliance with the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Wal-Mart Stores VP corporate communications David Tovar announced that the retailer had appointed a global officer to oversee compliance.

The move is just one of the steps that Tovar outlined toward managing issues related to the 1970s law that forbids bribing foreign officials.

Wal-Mart has not yet identified the person who will fill the slot, or when it will be activated.


Read more about the alleged Wal-Mart bribery scandal.

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FINANCE

Jones Group swings to loss on charges in Q1

BY Katherine Boccaccio

New York — Jones Group Inc. reported Wednesday that it swung to a first-quarter loss of $1.2 million, compared with a profit of $25.7 million in the year-ago period. Costs of closing stores, paying severance, acquisitions and a strategic review impacted the results, which still surpassed analysts’ expectations.

Revenue for the manufacturer and retailer of brands such as Nine West, Jones New York and Stuart Weitzman slipped 2.6% to $936 million in the quarter ended March 31, missing Wall Street’s expected $937.3 million in revenue.

“The warmer weather during the quarter, coupled with an early Easter holiday, resulted in stronger sales in all retail channels during the period than expected,” said CEO Wesley R. Card.

He added that the company remains focused on revitalizing core brands, investing in emerging brands and expanding the international footprint.

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