July 2, 2010 / 2:39 PM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 2-Wal-Mart U.S. merchandising chief leaving

* Fleming leaves after not being named U.S. CEO

* Second top management move this week

* Walmart shares down 0.7 pct (Adds company comments, background)

CHICAGO, July 2 (Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N) said on Friday that the chief merchandising officer for its U.S. discount stores is leaving the company — the second change in top management at the division, which has been suffering from sluggish sales.

John Fleming, 51, will leave the company as of Aug. 1, the world’s largest retailer said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Fleming’s departure comes after Walmart named Bill Simon to replace Eduardo-Castro Wright as chief executive of the division on Tuesday. Castro-Wright will remain as vice-chairman of the company and head its global e-commerce and supply efforts.

“John has been thinking about how he could spend more time with his family,” Walmart spokesman David Tovar said. “The changes announced earlier this week presented him with an opportunity and he decided it was the right time for him to leave the company.”

Fleming has been with Walmart for 10 years and also had been chief marketing officer for the unit and the head of its walmart.com business.

Walmart U.S. has seen same-store sales fall for the past four quarters as its core customers continue to be hit by high unemployment and a weak economy.

Walmart shares were down 36 cents at $47.98 on Friday on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Brad Dorfman, editing by Gerald E. McCormick, Dave Zimmerman)

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