To: All Officers and Home Office Associates
From: Mike Duke, President and Chief Executive Officer
Date: Feb. 3, 2010
Our purpose of saving people money so they can live better has never been more relevant. When so much is changing all around them, people count on Walmart to provide more value and quality in a way that only we can.
A core part of our culture is to continually look for ways to be more efficient — to operate for less so we can sell for less. Last fall, we laid out three strategic priorities to deliver even more value for both customers and shareholders: growth, leverage and returns. As you know, over the last month we’ve made a number of important changes at Sam’s Club, Walmart US and in Global Sourcing to ensure that this strategy is driving our structure. Each move has been designed to help us become more global, take advantage of our scale, and move our business even closer to the customer.
Today, we’re announcing organizational changes at our Home Office. In line with our strategy, I’ve asked each of my direct reports to look across their span of control for opportunities to eliminate duplication, reduce costs, and shift work closer to the operating units, and therefore, closer to the customer. As a result, we will eliminate approximately 300 positions in Northwest Arkansas, primarily in the corporate support areas. This was a difficult decision, but I believe that if we ask our operations to be leaner and more customer-focused, we must ask the same of our support teams at the Home Office.
Taking care of associates affected by these changes remains one of our most important priorities. Each position represents an individual who has been a part of our Walmart team. I also know that this will be a difficult time for the team members who have worked side-by-side with these associates. Everyone who will be leaving the company will be treated with care and respect and we will do everything we can to make the transition as smooth as possible.
Sam Walton had the foresight to combine a culture of values that remains constant with a business model that is able to respond quickly to a changing world. Our challenge today is to lead change while upholding the culture that made us such a great company. And as we move forward with balance and integrity, change will make us stronger.
With this last major strategic piece in place, we are beginning our new fiscal year with every part of our business focused on being even more responsive to our customers. Thank you for everything you do to keep our customer’s trust — and our company — strong for the future.