Wal-Mart Names New Board Chairman, Keeps Job in Family

(Los Angeles Times/TNS) -

Wal-Mart is keeping it in the family.

Greg Penner, vice chairman of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s board of directors, has been elected board chairman, the company said Friday.

Penner succeeds Rob Walton, who served as chairman of the board since 1992 and will stay on as director. Walton, 70, is also Penner’s father-in-law and son of company founder Sam Walton, who died in 1992.

“I’m deeply honored to follow in his footsteps and recognize the deep responsibility I have to our associates, all shareholders and the board,” Penner said in a statement.

Penner assumed his new role at the end of Friday’s annual shareholders’ meeting. He is only the third person to serve as chairman.

The 45-year-old has a master’s degree from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University. Penner began his career as a corporate finance analyst for investment bank Goldman Sachs and later served as a general partner at Peninsula Capital Partners in Detroit.

In 2005, he founded Madrone Capital Partners, a private investment firm that is affiliated with Rob Walton and other family members.

He also has a long history with Wal-Mart, first as a management trainee and later holding positions at walmart.com and Wal-Mart Japan. He joined the company’s board of directors in 2008.

In trading Friday, Wal-Mart shares dropped $1.09, or 1.5 percent, to $73.06.