Duke to succeed Scott at Wal-Mart; Castro-Wright is vice chairman   

Bentonville, Ark. – The Wal-Mart Stores board of directors has elected Mike Duke, 58, to succeed Lee Scott as president and ceo, effective Feb. 1, 2009, and has promoted Eduardo Castro-Wright, 53, to vice chairman, effective immediately.

Duke will become the retailer’s fourth top executive, following Sam Walton, David Glass, and Scott.

Scott will continue serving as chairman of the executive committee of the board; Duke will join the board.

Castro-Wright will add management of overall global procurement to his current duties as president and ceo of Walmart U.S.

“This management change occurs at a time of strength and momentum for Wal-Mart,” said Rob Walton, chairman of the Wal-Mart board of directors. “Our overall management team has never been stronger. We are confident that the strategy we have in place is the right one for future success, and Mike has been actively involved in developing and executing this strategy. We are also pleased that our succession and management development process continues to develop leaders internally.”

Like Lee, Duke has a background running the Wal-Mart logistics division. He also had stints in U.S. operations and international operations.

“I am looking forward to leading this great company,” Duke said. “Wal-Mart is very well positioned in today’s economy, growing market share and returns, and is more relevant to its customers than ever.”

“Lee Scott has made an extraordinary contribution to Wal-Mart during his almost 30 years of service as an associate, and as our president and ceo for the last nine years,” Walton said.

Walton added, “My dad would have been proud of Lee and his accomplishments. Lee brought a remarkable focus to our mission of saving people money so they could live better, and a heightened sensitivity to Wal-Mart’s role in the world. The actions taken during his tenure will benefit the company, our associates and our customers for years to come. We are pleased that Lee will serve as an advisor to Mike for a period of time, much as David Glass did for Lee.”

The company indicated it will make an announcement on Duke’s successor as president of Wal-Mart International by the end of the fiscal year.

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