(Corrects CEO Doug McMillon's age to 47 from 40 in paragraph 7)
By Siddharth Cavale and Sruthi Ramakrishnan
June 6 Wal-Mart Stores Inc appointed
Gregory Penner as vice chairman, showing again that the world's
largest retailer is looking at younger executives to revive its
The appointment of 44-year-old Penner puts him in a position
to succeed Chairman Rob Walton, his 69-year-old father-in-law.
Penner, who has been on Wal-Mart's board since 2008, is a
general partner at Madrone Capital Partners, according to
Wal-Mart's website. From 2002 to 2005, he was Wal-Mart's senior
vice president and the chief financial officer of its Japan
The announcement, made at Wal-Mart's annual shareholder
meeting on Friday, comes at a time when the company's U.S.
same-store sales are falling and it struggles to get beyond a
bribery scandal at its Mexico unit.
The scandal has cost the company more than $500 million
Wal-Mart is also facing increasing dissent from its
employees who, backed by unions, are demanding higher wages,
better benefits and more full-time jobs.
The company appointed Doug McMillon, 47, as its chief
executive in November to help stanch the fall in sales and
improve its image following the Mexico scandal. He took the helm
in February, replacing 64-year-old Mike Duke.
KEEP IT IN THE FAMILY
The move to appoint Penner as heir apparent highlights the
Walton family's attempts to reinforce its control over the
company founded by Rob Walton's father, Sam Walton.
The appointment aroused shareholder concerns about the
company's indifference to growing criticism.
The Walton family controlled 51 percent of Wal-Mart as of
At its annual meeting, some shareholders proposed the
appointment of an independent chairman and sought disclosures on
whether the company had recovered pay from executives involved
They also sought transparency on whether the company was
lobbying against a federal proposal to raise minimum wages.
These demands were voted down at Friday's meeting.
"There's no chance a (shareholder) proposal will be approved
given the controlling stake of the Walton family," CtW
Investment Group analyst Michael Pryce-Jones told Reuters.
Pryce-Jones, however, said Wal-Mart would now find it more
difficult to ignore shareholder concerns as its performance
CtW Investment works with pension funds who own 4 million
shares of Wal-Mart.
Wal-Mart's shares were little changed at $77.46 on Friday
afternoon on the New York Stock Exchange.
(Editing by Kirti Pandey)