BENTONVILLE, Ark., April 6, 2007 – Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. today announced that two newly created Wal-Mart Stores U. S. positions will be filled by Bill Simon and Pat Curran, effective immediately. Simon has been named chief operating officer and Curran will become executive vice president of People. Both will continue reporting directly to Eduardo Castro-Wright, president and CEO of Wal-Mart Stores U.S.
“Our success depends on having the right talent in key leadership positions as we roll out each stage of our three-year plan,” Castro-Wright said. “Earlier this year, we named a new chief merchant and a new chief marketing officer. Today’s announcement is one more step in solidifying the senior management team that will help us reach our business objectives.”
“We made these moves to ensure we become even more responsive to our customers and our associates,” Castro-Wright continued. “Bill Simon is a talented leader with broad experience in operations, administration and sales. As leader of the Wal-Mart professional services business, Bill has proven he can drive innovation, growth and profitability, as he demonstrated with our $4 generic drug program. He will now be expanding his focus to our entire Wal-Mart Stores U. S. business.”
All five operations presidents – representing more than 3,400 stores -- will now report to Simon. He will also have responsibility for asset protection and the professional services group, which includes the pharmacy and optical businesses, and in-store medical clinics.
Simon joined Wal-Mart from Brinker International, where he was senior vice president of Global Business Development, responsible for the growth of its portfolio of restaurants outside the U. S. Prior to this, he served as secretary of the Florida Department of Management Services, appointed by Governor Jeb Bush. Simon has also held senior management positions with top consumer brand companies such as Diageo PLC, Cadbury-Schweppes, PepsiCo and RJR-Nabisco. He served in the U. S. Navy and the U. S. Navy reserve for 25 years, retiring in 2005.
“Operational excellence depends on having well-qualified, engaged associates who care about customers and our business because they know the company cares about them as individuals,” said Castro-Wright. “To help make this happen, we greatly expanded our human resources support in the field last year and now want to bring that support even closer to the business. “Pat Curran has long been a strong leader, and natural and caring advocate for associates,” he continued. “This, combined with her operations experience and knowledge of the Wal-Mart business, makes her the ideal person to lead our increased focus in this area.”
“I look forward to collaborating closely with Pat,” said Susan Chambers, executive vice president of People for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., “and providing corporate support to the work she and her team will be doing with our Wal-Mart Stores U. S. associates.”
Curran began her career at Wal-Mart in 1983 as an hourly associate in the pets department, and then moved up the ranks to become a regional vice president and then divisional merchandise manager. In 2003, she was promoted to senior vice president of Wal-Mart store operations for the mid-Atlantic and Southeast areas. Under her leadership, these stores strengthened their involvement in their communities and significantly moved forward with diversity initiatives.
Curran’s position reflects the company’s appreciation of the critical role almost 1.2 million associates play in helping Wal-Mart Stores U. S. continue its transformation to be more relevant to a broad and diverse customer base. Last year the company decentralized its field organizational structure to move leadership closer to the field. To support associates in this new structure, the company established local human resources managers in each of 343 markets, created Wal-Mart University, and initiated activities to support change management and drive associate engagement.
About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates Wal-Mart discount stores, supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and Sam’s Club locations in the United States. The Company operates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom. The Company’s securities are listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol WMT. More information about Wal-Mart can be found by visiting www.walmartfacts.com. Online merchandise sales are available at www.walmart.com.
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