Doug McMillon, 47, has been named Chief Executive Officer of Walmart Stores, Inc. effective Feb. 1, 2014. Currently president and CEO of Walmart International, McMillon replaces Mike Duke, 63, who is stepping down.
During the opening of Walmart’s Supercenter on Maumelle Boulevard in 2008, McMillon said he was proud of the time he lived in Maumelle during the 1990s and served in a mid-management position for the world’s largest retailer.
He said then that his wife is from Maumelle and her parents still live here and he has lived in Maumelle off and on over the years while in school, in transition and while working out of this area.
In fact, McMillon said he was involved in the original attempt to locate a Supercenter on Maumelle’s Tract D where Kroger is now located.
The Walmart on Maumelle Boulevard was one of the first Supercenters to utilize new merchandising, branding and signage that grouped products by similar color signs. A change of color indicated a change of product and McMillon coordinated that effort.
He said the products were rearranged to provide easier flow for shoppers through the store.
Utilizing more neutral and earth tone shades of color, McMillon contrasted those colors with the original bright fluorescent colors that Sam Walton used in his first stores to attract attention.
When a Little Rock advertising agency executive first recommended the softer more neutral colors in 1979, Walton told him, “These bright colors make people think they’re getting a bargain, just like the overstuffed bins in the middle of the aisle.”
McMillon is originally from Jonesboro. He began his career with Walmart in 1984 andwas an hourly employee before moving up the leadership ladder. Before assuming his current title, he was president of Sam’s Clubs, Inc. from 2006 through 2009.
“The opportunity to lead Walmart is a great privilege,” McMillon said. “Our company has a rich history of delivering value to customers across the globe and, as their needs grow and change, we will be there to serve them. Our management team is talented and experienced, and our strategy gives me confidence that our future is bright. By keeping our promise to customers, we will drive shareholder value, create opportunity for our associates and grow our business.”
“This is a great company and it has been an honor to help advance Sam Walton’s vision of giving people around the world a better life,” said Duke. “Our associates make it all possible and I’ve learned so much from them. No matter where I traveled, our associates continued to inspire me with their commitment to living our values, serving our customers and taking care of each other.”
Duke will continue serving as chairman of the executive committee of the board and, in the tradition of his predecessors, stay on as an advisor to McMillon for one year. The company plans to make an announcement on McMillon’s successor as CEO of Walmart International by the end of the fiscal year.