BENTONVILLE, Ark. Wal-Mart Stores announced that EVP and general counsel Jeff Gearhart is being promoted to assume the additional role of corporate secretary. Gearhart will report to Walmart president and CEO Mike Duke. The company also announced that EVP and corporate secretary Tom Hyde, whose responsibilities include the legal, ethics and global security organizations, will retire from the company after nine years of service. These changes are effective Aug. 1.
Gearhart will continue as general counsel overseeing the legal department, which is responsible for handling all legal matters affecting the company in its domestic and international markets. He will also continue to lead the company's ethical sourcing program.
"Since joining the company, Jeff has built great credibility as a leader across the organization," said Duke. "He gives excellent advice and is also known for his collaboration and people management skills. Jeff gets involved in the details of our business and that enables him to make a strong ongoing contribution to our success."
Gearhart joined Walmart in 2003 and has served as EVP and general counsel since February 2009. Prior to that, he served as SVP and deputy general counsel since December 2007. Before joining Walmart Gearhart spent 14 years in private practice.
Hyde joined Walmart in July 2001 after serving as SVP and general counsel of Raytheon. His responsibilities for the ethics and global security organizations will be assumed by other leaders in the company.