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Wal-Mart Adds Two Executive Posts

The giant retailer creates two new positions in its U.S. unit as it attempts to reaccelerate growth.
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Wal-Mart (WMT) - Get Free Report has created two new executive positions as it attempts to recover from recent lackluster sales at its U.S. stores.

The Bentonville, Ark.-based retail giant said Friday that it had named Bill Simon chief operating officer of its U.S. division. It also named Pat Curran executive vice president of People for the unit. Both will report directly to Eduardo Castro-Wright, president and CEO of Wal-Mart Stores U.S.

"Our success depends on having the right talent in key leadership positions as we roll out each stage of our three-year plan," Castro-Wright said in a news release announcing the appointments. "Earlier this year, we named a new chief merchant and a new chief marketing officer. Today¿s announcement is one more step in solidifying the senior management team that will help us reach our business objectives."

Simon recently headed Wal-Mart¿s professional services business, while Curran has worked as senior vice president of store operations for the company's mid-Atlantic and Southeast.

The news about Simon and Curran comes a week after Wal-Mart announced that Vice Chairman John Menzer would take a more hands-on role in managing the company by becoming chief administrative officer. Castro-Wright, the head of the U.S. unit, now reports directly to Menzer; he used to report to Lee Scott, the retailer¿s CEO.

Wal-Mart recently has suffered from anemic same-store sales growth in the U.S. as big-box rivals like


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Best Buy

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have lured away customers.

Wal-Mart shares ended gained 22 cents Thursday to close at $48.27. U.S. stock markets were closed Friday in observance of Good Friday.