O.K., So He's Not Sam Walton

As a director of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the burden sometimes falls upon John E. Tate to grease the skids for the giant retailer in Washington. A former Wal-Mart general counsel, Tate knows plenty of the right people, and capital power brokers certainly know Wal-Mart. But when Tate introduces the company's chief executive, he's often greeted with blank stares. "This guy doesn't look like Sam Walton," their eyes seem to say.

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