Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) shareholders shouldn’t relect four directors, including Chief Executive Officer Mike Duke, because of a Mexican bribery probe, according to Institutional Shareholder Services Inc.
Duke, former CEO Lee Scott, Chairman Robson Walton and Christopher Williams should be removed, the corporate governance advisory firm said in a May 19 report. The directors inadequately responded to allegations that company officials bribed Mexican officials to more rapidly expand operations in the country, ISS said.
The New York Times reported last month that Wal-Mart is investigating whether executives systematically bribed Mexican officials so it could more quickly open stores. Scott, who was CEO at the time the bribes are alleged to have taken place in 2005 and 2006, and Duke, who was head of Wal-Mart’s international operations before becoming CEO, didn’t investigate the matter satisfactorily, ISS said.
Voting any Wal-Mart directors off the board would probably require the support of the Walton family, whose Walton Enterprises LP owns 47 percent of the shares, according to Bloomberg data. The directors stand for reelection on June 2.
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