New York City comptroller John Liu wants Wal-Mart's board to be held accountable for the Mexican bribery scandal, reports Retailing Today.
Last week, his office issued a statement announcing that the New York City pension funds Liu oversees and which owns 5.6 million shares of Wal-Mart will vote against five directors at the company's annual shareholder meeting in June.
"In 2005 and 2006, the Comptroller's Office repeatedly asked Wal-Mart directors to conduct an independent investigation into concerns of legal and regulatory non-compliance and lack of controls over internal policies at the company," according to the statement. "The corporation obstinately refused to address those concerns."
Liu wants fellow Wal-Mart shareholders to vote against the re-election of directors including Chairman Rob Walton, President and CEO Mike Duke, former President and CEO Lee Scott, Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson, and Christopher Williams, chairman and CEO of investment bank Williams Capital Group.
Last week, the California State Teachers' Retirement System filed suit against Wal-Mart for mishandling the bribery allegations, reports Bloomberg.
"The board's prolonged failure to address detailed and credible allegations of criminal activity" has caused the retailer "substantial harm," the pension fund said in the complaint.
Wal-Mart is Mexico's largest private employer. The retailer has dominated headlines ever since news of the bribery scandal first broke in April. Wal-Mart de Mexico allegedly made hundreds of cash payments to government officials to obtain building permits. A 2005 probe into the issue was reportedly shut down by Wal-Mart after it was discovered that senior company officials knew about the bribes, totaling about $24 million.
Liu's statement and the pension-fund suit come the same week that the Labor Department ordered Wal-Mart to pay $4.8 million in back wages and damages to thousands of employees who were denied overtime.
Retail Hiring Slumps (Retailing Today)
The Kronos Retail Labor Index declined for the second-consecutive time to 3.8%, down from a March level that was revised downwards by three-tenths. On a brighter note, the Retail Labor Index remains relatively high as compared with previous few years.
JC Penney Axes Middle Management (Business Insider)
Last week, JC Penney cut middle managers across the country, although the number of employees who have lost their jobs remains unknown. The retailer is also replacing top managers: On Thursday Bloomberg reported that Penney had hired a new chief financial officer.
Early Easter Hurt April Sales (WSJ)
Macy's, Saks and other large U.S. retailers delivered disappointing sales for April, after an early Easter boosted March spending. Colder temperatures and higher gasoline prices are also blamed for keeping shoppers at home.
Shelly Lazarus Resigns from Ogilvy (FINS)
Ogilvy & Mather Chairman Shelly Lazarus is stepping down after 41 years at the agency. She will now hold the title of chairman emeritus. Miles Young, Ogilvy's chief executive, will now also serve as chairman.
Clorox Uses Smartphones to Target Moms (eMarketer)
Clorox, known for brands like Glad and Hidden Valley, is utilizing smartphones to reach mothers. The company uses five tenets to approach mobile: immediacy, utility, relevance, location and convenience.
AMD Appoints Marketing Chief (Yahoo Finance)
Server computing company AMD has hired Dell's Colette LaForce as its senior vice president and chief marketing officer. LaForce currently heads up marketing for the $8 billion Dell Services unit.
Online Display Ads Show Poor ROI (Brafton)
A new report shows that fewer than 14% of consumers pay attention to online ads and only 16% think online display advertising is effective.
Buzz Around the Office
Eleven Crazy Sounds (Buzzfeed)
A barking cat, a death metal rooster, and a ticklish (laughing?) camel all make the list.
List of the Day: Positioning for Promotion
Make sure you, not your colleague, is the one to get fast-tracked.
1. Be willing to move for a promotion or assignment.
2. Never go above your boss's head.
3. Attach yourself to a superstar mentor.