(Corrects second name in first bullet point to "Foran" from
* Asia head Greg Foran to move to United States
* Wal-Mart says U.S. head Simon's departure "amicable"
* Shares fall 1 pct
By Siddharth Cavale
July 24 Wal-Mart Stores Inc replaced its
U.S. head Bill Simon with Asia chief Greg Foran as it seeks to
restore the fortunes of its largest business after a year of
A 35-year retail veteran who started out as a teenage
part-timer stocking supermarket shelves, Foran is being moved to
the United States just two months after becoming the head of
Wal-Mart's Asia business.
Wal-Mart said on Thursday that Simon - who joined the
retailer in 2006 and has headed its U.S. business since 2010 -
would stay on as a consultant for six months and the parting was
Foran, 53, joins Wal-Mart's U.S. business at a time the
company is struggling to retain its traditional low-income
customers. The U.S. business accounts for about 60 percent of
the company's total revenue.
In the first quarter, Wal-Mart posted its weakest sales
growth in five years and its full-year profit forecast
Edward Jones analyst Brian Yarbrough said Wal-Mart Chief
Executive Doug McMillon wanted new blood to lead the U.S.
business and Simon was unhappy after missing out on the top job
"Walmart U.S. has not been knocking the cover off the ball,"
Yarbrough said. "They have lagged. So it looks like Doug was
looking at a fresh perspective and Simon wanted to leave."
Wal-Mart's shares fell 1 percent to $76.25 on the New York
Foran, a New Zealander, joined Wal-Mart from Australian
retailer Woolworths Ltd, where he headed the
He had been widely tipped to head Woolworths, but quit after
he lost out on the top job. (reut.rs/WFzyPc)
Foran held several senior roles at Woolworths, including
general manager of the discount department store division Big W
and consumer electronics retailer Dick Smith.
Foran joined Wal-Mart in 2011 and became the chief executive
of Walmart China within six months. He starts his new job on
His experience includes merchandising and marketing - skills
Wal-Mart hopes can ease criticism that its stores run out of
In a Consumer Reports survey in March, Wal-Mart received the
lowest rating among supermarkets, with shoppers also complaining
about confusing pricing and store layouts.
"Greg Foran is well respected and brings with him a strong
background in both grocery and general merchandise," said Sandra
Skrovan from retail analytics firm Planet Retail.
Foran will be paid an annual salary of around $950,000,
Wal-Mart said in a filing. He is also in line for stock options
of up to $4.9 million early next year.
Simon will receive a severance package of about $4.5
million, payable through 2016. The deal with Simon prohibits him
from working at a rival or poaching Wal-Mart's employees for two
Wal-Mart's stock has fallen 1.6 percent in the year to
Wednesday's close, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average
has risen around 10 percent.
(Editing by Kirti Pandey)