Two Top Wal-Mart Execs Switch Roles

Two top Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) executives are being promoted to vice chairmen positions, and they will switch areas of oversight, the company announced Friday.

Mike Duke, who has headed up Wal-Mart's domestic stores, will lead the company's international division. John Menzer, who has been chief of the international stores, will oversee U.S. stores.

Wal-Mart president and chief executive Lee Scott said the changes would benefit both divisions.

"Mike has the ability and the management confidence to delegate responsibility to the best people in his organization, and develop and promote them. This new assignment will give us the opportunity to apply those skills to our overseas operations," Scott said, noting Duke's experience in logistics will help him in international markets.

In addition to U.S. stores, Menzer will head a broad segment of other elements of the world's largest retailer, including real estate, logistics, information services, benefits, global procurement, financial services, store planning and strategic planning.

"John will continue to accelerate changes in the largest segment of our business," Scott said. "During the last six years, he transformed Wal-Mart International (search) into a well-organized, fast-growing and profitable business."

Menzer had previously been Wal-Mart's corporate chief financial officer.

Also, the company announced Eduardo Castro-Wright will be promoted from executive vice president and chief operating officer of the domestic Wal-Mart stores division to president and chief executive of the division.

"These changes represent an opportunity to boost our performance and help us become a more diverse and global enterprise," Wal-Mart chairman Rob Walton said.

The company also said Wal-Mart stores divisional manager and senior vice president Pat Curran was elevated to executive vice president for store operations. In the Sam's Club (search) warehouse store division, Greg Spragg, executive vice president for Sam's Club operations, has been named executive vice president for the division's merchandising and replenishment. Regional Sam's Club vice president Greg Johnston has been promoted to executive vice president for operations.

On Thursday, the company named Mark Goodman as executive vice president of marketing and membership at Sam's Club.

The company has had an open vice chairman slot since the spring. Former Wal-Mart vice chairman Tom Coughlin (search) has been accused by Wal-Mart of misspending $500,000. A federal grand jury is investigating, Coughlin is being sued by Wal-Mart and a former company vice president claims in another lawsuit that he was fired because he reported alleged wrongdoing by Coughlin.

Coughlin, through his lawyer, has denied wrongdoing.

Shares of Wal-Mart slipped 6 cents to $43.48 on the New York Stock Exchange.