Wal-Mart Board Re-Elected as Duke Gets Less Than 90% Vote

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) Chief Executive Officer Mike Duke and two other board members received less than 90 percent of shareholders’ votes at last week’s annual meeting amid probes of allegations of bribery abroad.

Duke received 87.9 percent of votes for re-election, Chairman Rob Walton got 89.9 percent and audit committee Chairman Chris Williams got 87.8 percent, the Bentonville, Arkansas-based company said today in a statement.

Wal-Mart, along with the U.S. Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission, is probing allegations that executives in Mexico paid more than $24 million in bribes to speed its expansion there and also is investigating operations in Brazil, India and China. While the percentage of votes in favor of Duke, Walton and Williams were higher than at the previous annual meeting, all three had received 99 percent or more of the vote before last year, when the bribery allegations came to light.

Shareholder advisory firms Glass Lewis & Co. and ISS had recommended voting against some Wal-Mart directors, citing concerns about the bribery allegations.

Wal-Mart also said today that four shareholder proposals, including one to require an independent chairman and another to require the company to disclose when it uses its clawback provision, were defeated. The board had recommended voting against all four.

Wal-Mart shares fell 0.2 percent to $76.18 at 9:57 a.m. in New York. The shares had gained 12 percent through June 7, compared with a 16 percent gain for the Dow Jones Industrial Average. (INDU)

To contact the reporter on this story: Renee Dudley in New York at rdudley6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Robin Ajello at rajello@bloomberg.net

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