According to company insiders, McMillon was widely viewed as Duke’s most likely successor. He joined the company in 1984 as a summer associate at a distribution center. He worked his way towards an M.B.A., and has spent the bulk of his career thereafter in merchandising within Walmart’s US division.
In his role today, McMillon supervises all Walmart’s operations overseas, a huge jurisdiction that includes 823,000 employees in 6,300 stores strewn across 26 countries.
By all accounts, McMillon has done a creditable job growing Walmart’s international operations, registering $135 billion in sales last year, 29% of all sales.
Having joined the company in 1995, Duke served as CEO of Walmart since 2009. Prior to that, he spent nearly a quarter century with Federated Department Stores and May Department Stores.
McMillon has his work cut out for him, assuming the reins following a disappointing third quarter. While profit for the third quarter hit $3.64 billion, or $1.14 per share, up from last year’s $1.08 per share, this still fell below most forecasts. Expectations had pegged per share earnings as high as $1.16. Also, while revenue rose 1.7% to $115.69 billion, Thomson Reuters analysts had predicted it would reach $116.81 billion.