Wal-Mart Names New Head for Chinese Operations


The international retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc announced that Greg Foran has been named president and CEO of Wal-Mart China.


The appointment comes in the wake of allegations that a number of the company's stores had sold mislabeled food in the Chinese mainland last year.

Foran is currently senior vice-president of Wal-Mart International and will start his new role in March, the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

Prior to joining Wal-Mart in October, Foran built his career in New Zealand and Australia, beginning as a part-time shelf stocker and moving on to become the head of the food and liquor business at the Sydney-based Woolworths Ltd, Australia's largest retailer.

"With his distinguished career in retail, Greg is uniquely qualified to lead our growing business in China," said Scott Price, president and CEO of Wal-Mart Asia and interim CEO of Wal-Mart China.

Price became Wal-Mart's interim China head in October, following the departure of former Chief Executive Ed Chan and Clara Wong, senior China vice-president of human resources.

Wal-Mart sources said that the two had resigned for personal reasons and that the resignations "had no correlation" with an investigation in Chongqing concerning allegations that more than a dozen of its stores in the city mislabeled regular pork as organic pork last year.

Wal-Mart also suffered a series of high-level personnel losses last year, after both its China chief financial officer and chief operating officer left in May, creating a leadership vacuum.

"I'm very pleased he (Foran) is bringing his talents to help us continue the company's expansion in China and to enhance our efforts to help Chinese customers save money," Price said in a company press release.

"China is a very important market for Wal-Mart and I am looking forward to working with our 100,000 associates."

In response to the Chongqing allegations, Wal-Mart announced last year that it will establish a compliance division, which will be in charge of issues related to food safety and protection of customers' rights.

The company will also work closely with third parties to build an internal food safety system, according to sources in the retailer's China public relations division.

At present, Wal-Mart, based in Bentonville, Arkansas, had more than 370 stores in 140 Chinese cities, after entering the Chinese mainland market and opening its first Supercenter and Sam's Club outlets in the southern city of Shenzhen in 1996.

In 2007, Wal-Mart acquired a 35 percent stake in Trust-Mart, a Taiwanese-owned chain of retail supercenters.

Sources with Wal-Mart China's public relations department said all the Trust-Mart outlets it acquired will be redecorated in the Wal-Mart style to reinforce its image in the country.

2005-2011 www.researchinchina.com All Rights Reserved 京ICP备05069564号-1