In the middle of a probe over alleged corruption in its international division, Wal-Mart has caught its own spokesman falsifying a major detail about his biography. David Tovar, Wal-Mart's vice president of communications, and the company's spokesperson as it responds to allegations that it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, has said he's leaving the job he's held since 2006, Bloomberg reports. That's after the retail juggernaut found out that Tovar had represented himself as a 1996 graduate of the University of Delaware, but in fact had no such degree, an unnamed source told Bloomberg.
On Saturday, The New York Times published an investigative article that reported executives of Wal-Mart de Mexico, the largest foreign subsidiary of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., may have engaged in “widespread bribery” to accelerate the company’s expansion in Mexico. After the article was published, Wal-Mart officials acknowledged the Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer is investigating possible violations of U.S. law that ban bribery in foreign countries. The Wall Street Journal reported Wal-Mart first disclosed the internal probe in a December filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Walmart's strategy is evolving, and would have evolved regardless of what managers are in place. "Taking merchandise out of the Action Alley and providing clear sight lines has been a successful strategy," Spokesman David Tovar said in an e-mail, but added, "We are constantly listening to our customers and some have told us they liked seeing the rollbacks on merchandise in the aisles. .... We have given more autonomy to our store managers to make the decisions on what is right for their customers."