Former Walmart exec Tom Coughlin dies at 66

Tom Coughlin, who helped lead Walmart (NYSE:WMT) for the better part of two decades, passed away on April 1 at age 66.

Coughlin began his career with Walmart in 1978 in the company's security division, and was named vice chairman and elected to the board in 2001. 

But his tenure ended in scandal when in 2005 he was accused of stealing from the company and an investigation found he misused roughly $500,000 in company gift cards and fraudulent reimbursements.

Coughlin pled guilty to five counts of wire fraud and one count of filing a false income tax return. He served his sentence in home confinement and paid more than $460,000 in fines.

Still, Coughlin was respected in the retail community and continued to attend and speak at industry events. He was a protege of Sam Walton and was considered a dynamic and personable leader.

"Like me, many of you worked with Tom over his more than 26 years with the company. I know firsthand how much he loved our associates and this company," CEO Doug McMillon said in an email to company executives, according to The Wall Street Journal. 

For more:
- see this Wall Street Journal article (tiered subscription)
- see this Northwest Arkansas online article