Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Expectations High for Wal-Mart Exec Visit

WFU Business School Headshots 8-20-09 Lee Scott, who chairs the executive committee for the board of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., will be visiting Wake Forest University tomorrow. The theme of his visit will be sustainability, as he will share his thoughts with a class around environmental sustainability and his 4 pm speech is around the “New Normal.”

Scott served as president and CEO of Wal-Mart from January 2000 to February 2009. During his time, Wal-Mart emerged as the world’s largest retailer with more than 2 million associates, serving customers and members more than 200 million times per week. When he joined the company in September 1979, Wal-Mart had less than 300 stores in 11 states, compared to more than 8,000 locations across the U.S. and 14 other countries today.

Under his leadership, Wal-Mart assembled a strong team of senior leaders who transformed the business to thrive in a more complex global environment while keeping the company’s mission of “saving people money so they can live better” relevant to a changing world. The company is currently recognized as a vital part of the solution to the most pressing economic and social challenges. In the area of social and environmental responsibility, Wal-Mart has emerged as a leader in sustainable practices, leveraging its global reach in three key areas: renewable energy, zero waste and sustainable products. The company has also set aggressive goals to work with suppliers in building a more responsible global supply chain.

WFU Business School Headshots 8-20-09

Tomorrow, a select group of students will have lunch with Scott. All of us are excited and honored. We also have  certain expectations coming into this event. Aram Stephens (right), an evening 2011 MBA student, is “expecting the unexpected.” He grew up hour and a half from Wal-Mart’s corporate headquarters in Bentonville, Ark., and he expects they will be able to share a common knowledge of the geographic region. One comment made during the Marketing Summit Diversity Panel tackled the challenges that Wal-Mart faces in recruiting talent to northwest Arkansas. Aram plans to encourage Scott to share some wisdom on how each of us should conduct company research for future employers and to seek out the seemingly unknown. With a recent journey overseas, I would like to understand his position on globalizing markets and the challenges they have faced.

~ Bobbie Shrivastav

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