Penner takes over from Rob Walton, who served as chairman of the board since 1992, the year that his father and company founder Sam Walton died, and will continue to serve as director of the board. Penner is Rob Walton's son-in-law.
The promotion has been in the making since last year’s annual meeting, where Walton named Penner as vice chairman.
“This transition demonstrates Walmart’s commitment to long-term succession planning and keeping high-caliber, capable leaders at the head of our company,” says Walton. “Greg’s service to Walmart spans more than 15 years, and during that time he has had a significant impact, both as an associate and as a board member the past seven years. Greg has done an outstanding job as our vice chairman over the past year, and he has provided strong leadership and guidance as the chairman of our technology and e-commerce committee since it was formed in 2011. He brings an ideal blend of finance, technology and international business expertise–as well as a deep knowledge and love of Walmart–to this role.”
Since 2005, he has been a general partner of the investment management firm Madrone Capital Partners. Penner joined the Walmart board of directors in 2008. He has served as chair of the technology and e-commerce committee and held positions on the global compensation and strategic planning and finance committees.
In addition to the board’s leadership changes, the company is also realigning the composition of its board committees so that most of the independent directors will serve on at least two board committees. This includes the company’s governance committees (the audit committee and the compensation, nominating and governance committee) and strategy committees (the strategic planning and finance committee and the technology and e-commerce committee).
“It would be impossible to overstate Rob Walton’s impact on Walmart and how personally committed he has been over the years,” says Penner. “I’m deeply honored to follow in his footsteps and recognize the deep responsibility I have to our associates, all shareholders and the board. I’ve admired this company since my first Saturday morning meeting more than two decades ago. I believe in its mission and the positive role it plays throughout the world. I am excited about continuing to work with our outstanding senior management team and talented Walmart associates at all levels of the company.”
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