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Walmart CFO Resigns

By on October 19, 2015
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Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Chief Financial Officer Charles Holley is set to resign at the end of the year and pass off his duties to Brett Biggs, an executive in the retailer’s international division.

Biggs, 47, joined Wal-Mart in 2000 and currently serves as CFO of the firm’s international holdings, the Bentonville, Arkansas-based entity announced in a statement.

Holley, 59, will stay on until Jan. 31 to help with the transition, which was one of several management changes that Wal-Mart announced on Friday.

Biggs will be under pressure to manage a tight ship. Wal-Mart’s effort to raise wages and improve training programs is adding $1 billion in expenses, increasing the importance of cutting costs elsewhere. The retailer eliminated hundreds of jobs at its headquarters last week in a move that Chief Executive Officer Doug McMillon said would make Wal-Mart “a more nimble organization.”

Wal-Mart also has reorganized the management structure in its stores and added staff hours to make sure more checkouts are open during peak times. And the company has gotten more aggressive about asking vendors to pay fees for using its warehouses and distribution centers.

Biggs has held roles in the company’s Sam’s Club division as well as international strategy and mergers and acquisitions. Holley has served as Wal-Mart’s CFO since December 2010.

“He made the decision,” said Randy Hargrove, a Wal-Mart spokesman. “He felt the timing was right to announce his retirement.”

Earnings fell short of analysts’ estimates last quarter, and the company cut its forecast for the year. The weak results have contributed to Wal-Mart’s 22 percent stock decline this year. Wal-Mart shares were little changed at $66.63 as of 11:26 a.m. in New York.

Wal-Mart said in a separate statement Friday that Steve Bratspies would become chief merchandising officer for U.S. stores, overseeing all product categories across the company’s more than 4,500 domestic locations. Bratspies most recently was executive vice president of food for the U.S. division and led an overhaul of the retailer’s grocery aisles. The change is effective Oct. 19.

Charles Redfield, currently an executive at Sam’s Club, will take on the food role.