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Wal-Mart creates coo & HR slots

Bentonville,Ark.-- Wal-Mart Stores U.S. today named Bill Simon chief operating officer and Pat Curran executive vp of People, both new positions in the company.

Simon and Curran 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."

All five operations presidents -- representing more than 3,400 stores -- will now report to Simon. He will also oversee 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 vp of Global Business Development, responsible for the growth of its portfolio of restaurants outside the U.S. Prior to that, 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.

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 vp and then dmm. In 2003, she was promoted to senior vp of Wal-Mart store operations for the mid-Atlantic and Southeast areas.

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