Wal-Mart Taps New CFO

Dow Jones Newswires

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT) said Friday it has tapped a new chief financial officer hailing from its international operations, as the world's largest retailer looks to stoke its top and bottom lines.

The company said 47-year-old Brett Biggs will take over for current Financial Chief Charles Holley, who will retire as CFO at the end of the year and then remain for another month to help with the transition. Mr. Holley is 59 years old.

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Since 2014, Mr. Biggs has served as chief financial officer of Wal-Mart International. Before his current role, he served as chief financial officer of Wal-Mart U.S. from 2012 until 2014, and as senior vice president of Sam's Club operations from September 2010 to January 2012.

"Brett is a strong leader whose broad experience uniquely qualifies him to lead our finance and strategy areas," said Doug McMillon, Walmart's Chief Executive. "Having had a variety of important roles in all three of Wal-Mart's business segments, Brett is well prepared."

Mr. Holley had been CFO since late 2010 and has spent more than 20 years with the company.

Faced with increased competition, Wal-Mart is spending heavily to make its stores more convenient places to shop, adding staffing to speed checkout lines and make sure shelves are better stocked. In April, the company raised its minimum hourly wage paid to $9 and said it would boost pay to $10 for many employees by February.

The company's investments on behalf of customers have crimped profits but helped reverse a sales slump: Wal-Mart is drawing more shoppers who spend slightly more during their visit.

In a conference call following the release of second-quarter results, Mr. McMillion said the company was in a period of change but noted that it had rebounded from similar circumstances before.

In addition to higher wages, Wal-Mart's profit has been squeezed by currency fluctuations and lower-than-expected reimbursements for its pharmacy business.