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Walmart’s Glass opts out of re-election to board of directors

Bentonville, Ark. – Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s former president and ceo David Glass has decided not to stand for re-election to the retailer’s board of directors, come June 5 at Walmart’s annual shareholders’ meeting.

Glass is currently a board member and has been since 1977.

He joined Walmart in 1976 as the company executive vp of finance and one year later was elected to its board.

He continued to climb the ranks, with a promotion to vice chairman and cfo in 1982. Soon after, in 1984, he was named president and coo, until finally he succeeded the company’s founder Sam Walton as president and ceo in January 1988. He remained in that post until retiring in January 2000.

“I cannot overstate David’s contribution to our company,” said Rob Walton, chairman of the board of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. “He established a new foundation for the company’s growth, and my dad considered him to be one of the finest retail talents he had ever met.”

Glass, who came to the company from Consumer’s Markets, is credited with establishing Walmart’s first distribution center outside of headquarters here, and equipping it with computerized distribution – “proving that the company’s geographic reach could be extended well beyond its home state,” the company said. He was also “instrumental in the creation of Sam’s Club” in 1983, and later as the company’s president and ceo, “Glass pioneered development of the first supercenter, which is now the company’s dominant retail format.” Under his leadership, Walmart became the nation’s largest retail company and made its first foray into international markets with an acquisition in Mexico.

After leaving Walmart, he continued to serve on its board as chairman of the executive committee until 2006 and, most recently, as a member of the strategic planning and finance committee.

“David joined Wal-Mart at a crucial time in the company’s history, bringing expertise in finance and distribution and pioneering the use of computer systems to link our stores and supply chain,” Walton said. “He is a great merchant who never lost the customer perspective. He encouraged frequent and open communication, and his talent for expressing his ideas was exceeded only by his talent for listening.”

With Glass’ retirement, Walmart’s board will consist of 15 directors, all of whom will stand for re-election at the annual shareholders’ meeting on June 5.

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