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Head Of Walmart Board No Longer A Walton

Walmart's Board Of Directors has a new leader — a leader, it's worth noting, who is not a Walton. At least not officially.

Walmart announced last week (June 5) that 70-year-old Rob Walton, was stepping down as the chairman of the board after 33 years. In his place will be Greg Penner — Walton's son-in-law — who was the board's vice chairman. Walton will still serve as a director for the company.

“This transition demonstrates Walmart’s commitment to long-term succession planning and keeping high caliber, capable leaders at the head of our company,” Walton said in a company news release. “Greg’s service to Walmart spans more than 15 years, and during that time he has had a significant impact, both as an associate and as a Board member the past seven years. Greg has done an outstanding job as our Vice Chairman over the past year, and he has provided strong leadership and guidance as the Chairman of our Technology and eCommerce Committee since it was formed in 2011. He brings an ideal blend of finance, technology and international business expertise – as well as a deep knowledge and love of Walmart – to this role.”

The 45-year-old Penner started his career at Goldman Sachs as an analyst who specialized in corporate finance. He eventually joined Walmart and has made his way up the ranks. He has held positions such as Senior Vice President of Finance and Strategy for Walmart.com and Senior Vice President and CFO for Walmart Japan. He joined the board in 2008.

“It would be impossible to overstate Rob Walton’s impact on Walmart and how personally committed he has been over the years,” Penner said in the news release.

Walmart also shook up the composition of its board committees so that independent directors will also serve on board committees.

“These changes reinforce our commitment to exclusively independent directors on our governance committees, and increases the number of independent members on our strategy committees, which have a majority of independent directors,” James Cash Jr., Lead Independent Director, Board of Directors, said in the release. “This adjustment is consistent with Walmart’s approach to continuous improvement of our Board practices and sound corporate governance.”

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