Walmart CEO McMillon Sees Broad Mandate at Investor Meeting

NEW YORK (TheStreet) - Wal-Mart's (WMT) recently-appointed chief executive Doug McMillon indicated Wednesday the company's board of directors has given him a broad mandate to either shake up the retailer's senior management structure, or consider strategic acquisitions or divestitures, according to a report from Credit Suisse.

On Wednesday, McMillon revealed he was given the opportunity to change the company's senior management structure when he was elected as Wal-Mart's CEO to replace Mike Duke in late November. Credit Suisse interpreted McMillon's comments to mean he has been given a broad mandate by Wal-Mart's board of directors, which could lead to merger and acquisition activity or change to the retailing giant's upper ranks.

"At the meeting it was revealed that at the time of his appointment he was given the opportunity to change the senior management structure, if he saw fit. We think Mr McMillon's mandate includes both acquisitions and divestitures," Credit Suisse analyst Michael Exstien wrote.

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Although Wal-Mart's new CEO may have a wide enough mandate to pursue acquisitions, McMillon signaled the company's preference to grow organically. "While not ruling out acquisitions, the company pointed out their 50% rate of success on these and the preference to build on its own," Exstein wrote.

McMillon's comments came at a special meeting Wal-Mart held with stock analysts and institutional shareholders on Wednesday, which Credit Suisse said was the company's "first coordinated investor relations outreach in memory." The meeting wasn't webcast and doesn't appear on Wal-Mart's calendar of events on its investor relations page.

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