BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores here on Wednesday said it has elevated Jeff Gearhart, currently executive vice president and general counsel, to the additional role of corporate secretary. He will succeed Tom Hyde, currently EVP and corporate secretary, who plans to retire, the company said.
The changes are effective Aug. 1. Gearhart, 45, will continue as general counsel overseeing the legal department, which is responsible for handling all legal matters affecting the company in its domestic and international markets. He will also continue to lead the company's ethical sourcing program. He will report to Mike Duke, chief executive officer.
Gearhart joined Wal-Mart in 2003 and has been EVP and general counsel since February 2009. Prior to that, he was senior vice president and deputy general counsel since December 2007. Before joining Wal-Mart, Gearhart spent 14 years in private practice.
Hyde joined Wal-Mart in July 2001 after serving as senior vice president and general counsel of Raytheon. His responsibilities for the ethics and global security organizations will be assumed by other leaders in the company.
In a prepared statement, Duke said that Hyde had "led the transformation of the legal department into a world-class organization by recruiting and developing some of the best and brightest legal minds. His professionalism, insight and judgment have contributed to the company's success well beyond the legal department."
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