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Michael Terry Duke    

Retired CEO of Walmart and Chairman of Walmart’s Executive Committee of the Board of Directors

Mike Duke served as the CEO of Walmart, the world’s largest retailer and the biggest private employer, from 2009–2014. He continues to serve as chairman of the executive committee of the board, and he was the fourth CEO since the company became publicly traded in 1970. Inheriting a company facing one of the toughest retail environments in company history, he grew the retailer’s net income 27 percent in his first year despite the recession. He worked to restructure the company, placing e-commerce on equal footing with Walmart’s other, larger divisions, and under his leadership, Walmart made serious investments in high-tech talent, acquired several startups, and injected a bit of Silicon Valley into Bentonville, Arkansas. The company also expanded significantly internationally and became a leader on the issues of sustainability and corporate social responsibility. Much of this success can be attributed to Duke’s strong leadership around the company’s culture and core values. Walmart, with its size and scope, has the power to positively influence governments, businesses, and individuals around the world, and Duke make sure that the company not only grew but grew with integrity.

Ranked No. 10 on Forbes’ list of “The World’s Most Powerful People” in 2013, Duke built his expertise by learning from and interacting with everyone from Walmart customers around the world to officials in the highest levels of government. With Southern charm and a warm personality, he shares insights on leadership, corporate culture, sustainability, and international growth.

Walmart Experience. Under Duke’s leadership as CEO, Walmart greatly expanded internationally. Now in 27 countries across the world, he helped the company move into China, Latin America, and Africa. He was also a driving force behind Walmart’s leadership on some of the most pressing environmental and sustainability issues of our time. The company now aims to be waste free, operate on 100% renewable energy, and sell products that are sustainable.

Duke joined Walmart in 1995 and led the logistics, distribution, and administration divisions, as well as Walmart U.S. From 2005–2009, he served as vice chairman of the company, with responsibility for Walmart International. Prior to joining the company, he had 23 years of experience in retailing with Federated Department Stores and May Department Stores.

Education and Boards. Duke has served on the board of directors of The Consumer Goods Forum, the executive committee of Business Roundtable, and is on the executive board of Conservation International’s Center for Environment Leadership in Business. He also serves on the board of advisors for the University of Arkansas and the advisory board of the Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management in Beijing, China. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Duke earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1971.

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