Wal-Mart shaking up, shrinking its board
Wal-Mart Stores on Thursday announced changes to its board of director of directors that it said were designed to make to make it more nimble and able to respond quicker to today’s fast-changing market.
As part of the changes, four current board members — Aida Alvarez, Roger Corbett, Mike Duke and Jim Walton — will retire and not stand for re-election. In addition, the retailer is shrinking its board by three members to 12, a move that brings it more in line with the size of most U.S. corporation boards.
The changes will take place following the chain’s annual shareholders meeting on June 3, 2016 at the Bud Walton Arena on the University of Arkansas campus in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
“With these retirements, we view this as a time to make our board more nimble, while maintaining its independence and further aligning on Walmart’s strategic priorities,” said Greg Penner, chairman.
Steuart Walton, son of the retiring Jim Walton, has been nominated to the board, marking a leadership transition to the next generation of Walton family representation, the board said. Steuart is the CEO of Officer of Game Composites, Ltd., a company he founded in 2013 that designs and builds small composite aircraft. He previously worked for the London office of Allen & Overy, LLP handling matters related to debt and equity offerings by non-U.S. entities, and also worked for Walmart International, focusing on mergers and acquisitions.
With the proposed changes, the Walmart board will maintain its current independent majority at 67%. The board’s 12 nominees, if elected, represent an effective mix of deep company knowledge and fresh perspectives, including five independent board members added over the past four years, the retailer said.
Walmart has placed a focus on technology with the additions of Marissa Mayer, president and CEO of Yahoo! Inc., and Kevin Systrom, CEO and co-founder of Instagram.
“We believe that board refreshment and succession planning are critical and demonstrate good corporate governance practices, but also and most importantly, support our mission to broaden and improve how we are serving customers through both stores and e-commerce,” stated James I. Cash, Jr., lead independent director.
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