Network of Executive Women to Honor Walmart's Mike Duke

Walmart CEO Will be Inducted in Group's 'Diversity Hall of Fame'

CHICAGO, May 2, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Michael T. Duke, president and CEO of Wal-Mart Inc., will be inducted into the Network of Executive Women CPG/Retail Diversity Hall of Fame, June 28, 2012 during Women's Day at the LPGA, in Rogers, Ark. NEW, the consumer products and retail industry's largest diversity organization, has more than 5,000 members in 19 regions in the United States and Canada.

Duke will receive the NEW William J. Grize Diversity Hall of Fame Award, named after the late CEO of Ahold USA, an early advocate of industry diversity. The award, previously known as the NEW Outstanding Champion Award, honors industry leaders who have demonstrated "an enduring commitment to the advancement of women and to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace," NEW announced.

Duke will receive the award at Women's Day at the LPGA, an official event of the Walmart Northwest Arkansas LPGA golf championship. The breakfast event will be co-hosted by NEW Northwest Arkansas June 28 from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the John Q. Hammonds Center in Rogers, Ark.

The event will feature a panel discussion by industry leaders, including Duke; Gisel Ruiz, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Walmart US; Elane Stock, president of Kimberly-Clark Professional; and past Network of Executive Women Board Chair Alison Kenney Paul, vice chair, U.S. retail leader, principal for Deloitte. The event is open to industry members who register online at

Advancing women

"Under Mike Duke's leadership, the world's largest retail company has promoted talented women to the highest levels," said NEW President and CEO Joan Toth. "His commitment to gender diversity and inclusion has put a spotlight on the importance and value of developing women leaders and continues to strengthen Walmart's position in the marketplace."

"We know that companies with more women in leadership are also more successful," Duke said. "Our core customers are women, and they are making the majority of the buying decisions for their homes. If we are to truly understand these customers and give them what they need, we should reflect the people we serve."

Walmart has advanced women to a number of key positions during Duke's tenure as president and CEO. In January 2012, Rosalind Brewer, the first chairperson of the Walmart President's Council of Global Women Leaders, became the first woman and African American to lead one of Walmart's three business units when she was promoted to chief executive of Sam's Club. At the same time, Walmart promoted Gisel Ruiz to executive vice president and chief operating officer of its U.S. business and Karenann Terrell to chief information officer.

"Being involved in the Network's leadership, I have the opportunity to see how a variety of companies lead diversity," said NEW Board Chair Michelle Gloeckler, senior vice president, home for Walmart U.S. "I can assure you, at Walmart it's part of our culture and we believe we are the best at it in the industry around the globe."

Last fall, Duke unveiled the Walmart Global Women's Economic Empowerment Initiative, which uses the company's size and scale to help empower women across its supply chain. Over five years, the company will source $20 billion from women-owned businesses in the United States and double sourcing from women suppliers internationally.

Duke has been a longtime supporter of NEW, describing it as a "national model and a true change agent." Like NEW, Duke has pushed to give women a larger leadership role in the cpg/retail industry. He has focused on bringing in talented women and then ensuring they have mentors, role models and the development opportunities they need to help prepare them for more responsibility.

"Deloitte has been a proud sponsor of this award for the past 10 years and we are especially pleased to help honor Mike Duke," Paul said. "Walmart's support of the Network and diversity in retail has been truly transformative."

Walmart serves customers and members more than 200 million times per week at more than 10,130 retail units under 69 different banners in 27 countries. With fiscal year 2012 sales of $443 billion, Walmart employs 2.2 million associates worldwide.

About the Network of Executive Women

The Network of Executive Women is the consumer products and retail industry's largest diversity organization, with more than 5,000 members representing 400 industry companies. The Network has 77 national sponsors and 19 regional groups in the United States and Canada. It hosts dozens of local events and three national conferences each year. For more information visit

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