Rob Walton to step down as chairman of Walmart

US supermarket giant Walmart on Thursday said that its longest serving board member Rob Walton will retire from his position in June.

Announcing the company’s 2024 annual report, Walmart said that Walton, the eldest son of founder Sam Walton, will retire from the board at the conclusion of his current term on 5 June more than 50 years after first joining the company in 1969 and after more than 40 years on the Walmart board.

The 79-year-old Walton – who is the 19th richest person in the US with a net worth of $77.4 billion, according to Forbes – served as chairman of the board from his father’s death in 1992 through to June 2015 when he was replaced by son-in-law Greg Penner who remains in the position today. During his tenure as chairman, the company expanded its annual sales from $44 billion to $482 billion to become the biggest retailer in the US.

Of his outgoing father-in-law, Penner said: “His leadership has been critical as we've grown our business over so many years. There's no doubt Sam would be very proud. On behalf of our associates and the board, I'd like to thank him for his unparalleled and amazing service.”

The company said that it had nominated Chipotle chairman and chief exec Brian Niccol as Walton’s successor who, if elected, would leave Steuart Walton, Rob’s nephew, as the only remaining Walton on the board of 11 directors.

In its 2024 financial report, the company reported sales of $648.1 billion, attributing its growth to inflation which had driven shoppers to its low-cost stores.

The supermarket company also disclosed seven shareholder proposals in the regulatory filing, with the board recommending shareholders vote against all of them. The measures include proposing a compensation policy for workers to prevent racial and gender disparity.

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