Editor's note: Hedgeye Retail Sector Head Brian McGough offers a quick take on news of Wal-Mart's new CEO below.
- "Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. today announced that its board of directors elected company veteran Doug McMillon, 47, to succeed Mike Duke, 63, as president and chief executive officer, effective February 1, 2014. McMillon was also elected to the company's board of directors, effective immediately."
- "Duke will continue serving as chairman of the executive committee of the board and, in the tradition of his predecessors, stay on as an advisor to McMillon for one year. The company plans to make an announcement on McMillon's successor as CEO of Walmart International by the end of the fiscal year."
Takeaway: McMillon's profile has been growing inside WMT for a while now, so this does not come as a complete shock. But we are definitely surprised by the timing. All that said, the idea of having a 47-year old CEO with heavy International experience is extremely appetizing to us. Let's face it, there's no more unit growth in the United States; and WMT can't comp consistently better than 1%. Bottom line is this guy can't exactly do any damage to the US business, and International will have a bigger profile. It is a win-win.
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