Contact: Matthew Sweeney, (212) 669-3747 June 4, 2012
NEW YORK, NY – City Comptroller John C. Liu stated the following in response to questions about the board of directors election at Wal-Mart:
“Outside shareowners delivered a stinging rebuke to Wal-Mart’s top leadership by casting more than 30% of our votes against the company’s chairman, CEO and former CEO. The results are a vote of no confidence that sends a message to Wal-Mart’s entire board, which has ignored our concerns and failed to safeguard the company’s standards of ethical and legal compliance. It’s up to the board now to restore investor confidence. Directors need to increase their independence and initiate a truly independent investigation into reports that Wal-Mart executives covered-up widespread bribery in Mexico and hold accountable any executives involved.”
Comptroller Liu and the NYC Pension Funds encouraged fellow shareowners to vote against five Wal-Mart directors. Because the Walton family, directors, and officers control 50.12% of Wal-Mart’s outstanding shares it was understood that a majority vote against re-election of board members was mathematically impossible.
In order to present an accurate assessment of the vote by non-insiders, we have deducted the 1.7 billion shares owned by company officers and directors, which include members of the Walton family, from the reported votes cast for each director. Based on the remaining outside shares voted, the five directors opposed by Comptroller Liu and the NYC Pension Funds received the following votes in opposition: H. Lee Scott Jr., former CEO (38.4% against), Christopher Williams, Audit Committee Chair (32.8% against), Michael T. Duke, CEO (32.2% against), S. Robson Walton, Chairman (31.2% against), Arne Sorenson, Audit Committee Director (9.9% against).