UPDATE 2-Sam's Club head named Wal-Mart International CEO

Wed Jan 7, 2009 10:48am EST

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CHICAGO Jan 7 (Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N) said Doug McMillon, head of its Sam's Club division, will become president and CEO of Wal-Mart International next month as the world's largest retailer increasingly looks overseas to fuel expansion.

McMillon, 42, will report to Mike Duke, 59, who had held the top international post and is set to succeed Lee Scott as Wal-Mart's CEO next month.

The top role at Wal-Mart International, the retailer's second-largest unit, can be seen as a stepping stone to even higher positions at the world's largest retailer.

John Menzer had also been president and CEO of Wal-Mart International before being promoted to vice chairman in 2005. Menzer retired from Wal-Mart in 2008.

Both Duke and McMillon take on their new roles on Feb. 1. Scott is staying on as chairman of the executive committee of the board.

Wal-Mart opened its first international store, a Sam's Club near Mexico City, in 1991. Wal-Mart International now has more than 3,300 stores and accounts for about 25 percent of the company's revenue.

Duke has overseen Wal-Mart's international operations since 2005 and is fond of saying the retailer should "major in the majors" -- focus expansion on global markets where it can become a big player instead of simply planting a flag.

Under that strategy, the retailer exited its business in Germany and South Korea in 2006 and has pursued growth in countries such as China, Mexico and Canada. Last month, Wal-Mart launched a $2.7 billion tender offer for Chile's leading supermarket D&S DIS.SN DYS.N.

McMillon started working at Wal-Mart as an hourly associate, unloading trucks at a distribution center while attending college.

Wal-Mart said it would name a new president and CEO of Sam's Club at a later date.

Shares of Wal-Mart were up 15 cents to $56.17 in morning trading. (Reporting by Jessica Wohl, editing by Maureen Bavdek and Derek Caney)

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