3.5 minutes

Two members of Rob Walton's family, his nephew and son-in-law, will remain on the Walmart board.

Walmart founder Sam Walton’s oldest son, Rob Walton, announced that he will step down from the company’s board of directors in June. The move will bookend his time as a director there, which has spanned more than 40 years, currently making him the board’s longest-serving member.

The Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer shared news that Walton would retire from the board in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission ahead of the annual meeting for Walmart shareholders.

Walmart is No. 2 in the Top 1000, Digital Commerce 360’s ranking of North America’s online retailers by web sales. It is also No. 9 in the Global Online Marketplaces Database, Digital Commerce 360’s ranking of top online marketplaces.

Rob Walton’s career at Walmart

“Rob has been with Walmart quite literally from the beginning, sweeping floors and carrying boxes in the Ben Franklin franchise stores his dad ran before he opened the first Walmart,” said Greg Penner, chairman of Walmart’s board of directors, in a message accompanying the filing. “He became a lawyer and Sam would later remember that Rob did ‘most of the work to take us public’ in 1970.”

Penner, who succeeded Walton as board chair and is also Walton’s son-in-law, recounted Walton’s contributions at Walmart over the decades as Walmart’s operations evolved.


“He’s been a member of Walmart’s Board since 1978, including serving as our Chairman from 1992-2015, during which time Walmart grew from approximately $44 billion in sales to $482 billion in sales,” said Penner. “He played a key leadership role in the company’s international expansion starting with the opening of a Sam’s Club in Mexico City in 1991, and as we entered Canada in 1994. He helped lead each step as we transformed into a global retailer, and he helped guide our transformation from a strictly brick-and-mortar retailer into an omni-channel one that serves customers and members however they choose to shop.”

As Walton departs, one other family member — his nephew Steuart Walton — will remain on the board.

Chipotle CEO nominated to take board seat

With Walton stepping down, Walmart’s board nominated Brian Niccol, the chairman and CEO of Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., to join. Niccol will stand for election at the 2024 annual meeting as shareholders vote.

“Brian is a dynamic leader with a passion for excellence,” said Tom Horton, lead independent director on Walmart’s board and former chairman and CEO of American Airlines. “I am confident that his experience in retail, marketing and brand management, and engaging with associates and customers will be a strategic asset to your Board. If elected, Brian will be the fifth new independent director we have onboarded since 2017.”


Walmart’s 2024 annual meeting for shareholders will be held virtually on June 5.

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