Wal-Mart China CEO, another exec resign
Updated: 2011-10-17 16:12
SHANGHAI/BEIJING - Two executives of Wal-Mart Stores Inc's China operation, including its head, have resigned for personal reasons, the company said on Monday, the latest setback for the world's largest retailer in China where it has faced store closures and employee detentions.
The departures of Walmart China Chief Executive Ed Chan and Senior Vice President of Human Resources Clara Wong come a week after the company closed more than a dozen stores in central China following allegations the stores sold regular pork as organic pork over the past two years.
Both resignations were for personal reasons and "have no correlation" with the investigations in Chongqing, Walmart Asia spokesman Anthony Rose said.
Authorities in Chongqing have arrested two Walmart China employees and detained 37 others over the incident.
"We have used the last few days to put in place corrective actions in our stores," Rose said, adding that the stores will reopen by October 25. He did not give details of the actions.
"It's really hard to say whether this (the resignations) is a consequence of that," said Torsten Stocker, a China retail analyst with Monitor Group.
"It might be, but I think at the end of the day, it is still not clear what really happened in Chongqing," he said. "Obviously what happened in Chongqing is impacting their business in Chongqing and presumably ought to be having some impact on the grand overall business. Any type of leadership change like this, it's never a good thing."
Walmart: "Lot to Celebrate"
Walmart Asia CEO Scott Price stressed in a statement on Monday that China is a strong market for the world's largest retailer.
"We recently celebrated our 15th anniversary in China, and there is a lot to celebrate about our business here," said Price, who will also serve as interim China head.
"China is a very important market for Wal-Mart and China's 12th five-year plan will provide strong opportunities to the retail industry."