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To serve and sell for less

It takes a special type of person to work at Walmart, according to chief information officer Rollin Ford, who told those assembled at the company’s shareholders’ meeting that customer service is in their DNA.

Ford, a 28-year Walmart executive, was called into service for a brief presentation at the meeting to recount his experience of working at Walmart while founder Sam Walton was still alive, since most of the thousands of store associates and many of the executives who attended the event joined the company after Walton death nearly 20 years ago.

“There are so many things that I am grateful for during the past 28 years,” Ford said, “but the thing I am most grateful for is I had the privilege of working for Sam Walton. I learned a lot from him.”

One of the things Ford said he learned is to listen and value the ideas of others. He said Walton showed him that respect not long after he joined the company as an hourly intern in 1983. He said Walton listened to his ideas and said he would consider his ideas, which made him want to work even harder.

“He challenged me to be better and gave me the right balance of confidence and humility. He also led by example and never asked anyone to do anything that he wouldn’t do himself,” Ford said. “Our job is to serve. It is in our DNA. No matter what country you are from, take that sentiment of service with you back to your stores and clubs.”

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