Retail News Breaks
Walmart names Penner vice chairman
June 6th, 2014
BENTONVILLE, Ark. – Walmart has named board member Greg Penner to the new role of vice chairman, putting him in position to succeed chairman Rob Walton.
Penner, who has served on the retailer’s board since 2008, is Rob Walton’s son-in-law. He is a former Walmart executive who served as chief financial officer for the retailer’s Japan operations and managed finance and strategy for Walmart.com.
Penner will serve as chairman when Walton is absent, the company said today at its annual shareholder meeting.
"One of the board’s most important responsibilities is long-term succession planning, and the company spends considerable time planning for stability and continuity," Walton said in a statement. "I’m excited about Greg working closely with me, the board and the management team in guiding Walmart into the future."
Analysts said the move solidifies the Walton family’s control of the board at a time when some investors are advocating for independent directors. A proposal at today’s meeting would have made it Walmart’s policy for the chairman to be someone without close ties to the company.
The measure, which was opposed by the corporation, failed to garner sufficient support to be approved. The company argued that it had already separated the roles of chairman and chief executive officer, and noted that new CEO Doug McMillon, who succeeded Mike Duke in February, is not a member of the Walton family.
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