FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.—It's been a year of change at Walmart (NYSE:WMT) and the coming year will be no exception—Walmart bids Rob Walton adieu as chairman and names Greg Penner to the role. The appointment was announced at Walmart's annual shareholder meeting today and will be effective at the meeting's close.
Penner previously served as the board's vice chairman. The 70-year-old Walton has served as non-executive chairman since 1992, and will continue to serve as a director.
"This transition demonstrates Walmart's commitment to long-term succession planning and keeping high caliber, capable leaders at the head of our company," said Walton. "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."
Penner is also Walton's son-in-law, keeping the chairmanship in the Walton family. Penner is only the third person to serve as chairman after founder Sam Walton and Rob Walton, since the company became public in 1962.
"It would be impossible to overstate Rob Walton's impact on Walmart and how personally committed he has been over the years," said Penner. "I'm deeply honored to follow in his footsteps and recognize the deep responsibility I have to our associates, all shareholders and the Board. I've admired this company since my first Saturday morning meeting more than two decades ago. I believe in its mission and the positive role it plays throughout the world. I am excited about continuing to work with our outstanding senior management team and talented Walmart associates at all levels of the company."
Penner joined Walmart as a management trainee and held several positions including senior VP of finance and strategy for Walmart.com and senior VP and CFO, Walmart Japan.
-See this Walmart press release
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