BENTONVILLE, Ark., June 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Today Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) announced that Executive Vice President and General Counsel Jeff Gearhart is being promoted to assume the additional role of corporate secretary. Gearhart, 45, will report to Walmart President and CEO Mike Duke. The company also announced that Executive Vice President and Corporate Secretary Tom Hyde, whose responsibilities include the legal, ethics and global security organizations, will retire from the company after nine years of service. These changes are effective August 1.
Gearhart will continue as general counsel overseeing the legal department, which is responsible for handling all legal matters affecting the company in its domestic and international markets. He will also continue to lead the company's ethical sourcing program.
"Since joining the company, Jeff has built great credibility as a leader across the organization," said Duke. "He gives excellent advice and is also known for his collaboration and people management skills. Jeff gets involved in the details of our business and that enables him to make a strong ongoing contribution to our success."
Duke continued, "Tom has had a tremendously successful career at Walmart, and I have seen first-hand the difference he has made. He led the transformation of the legal department into a world-class organization by recruiting and developing some of the best and brightest legal minds. His professionalism, insight and judgment have contributed to the company's success well beyond the legal department."
Gearhart joined Walmart in 2003 and has served as executive vice president and general counsel since February 2009. Prior to that, he served as senior vice president and deputy general counsel since December 2007. Before joining Walmart Gearhart spent 14 years in private practice.
Hyde joined Walmart in July 2001 after serving as senior vice president and general counsel of Raytheon. His responsibilities for the ethics and global security organizations will be assumed by other leaders in the company.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) serves customers and members more than 200 million times per week at more than 8,400 retail units under 55 different banners in 15 countries. With fiscal year 2010 sales of $405 billion, Walmart employs more than 2 million associates worldwide. A leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity, Walmart ranked first among retailers in Fortune magazine's 2010 Most Admired Companies survey. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting www.walmartstores.com. Online merchandise sales are available at www.walmart.com and www.samsclub.com.
SOURCE Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.