Wal-Mart directors get majority of investor votes

Fri Jun 1, 2012 12:06pm EDT
 
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FAYETTEVILLE, Arkansas (Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc shareholders voted to re-elect all 15 directors and add Google Inc's Marissa Mayer to the board on Friday despite concerns from some investors that certain members may have helped squelch a bribery probe in the mid-2000s.

Some large pension funds and activist groups said they had voted their shares against board members including Chairman Rob Walton, Chief Executive Officer Mike Duke and former CEO Lee Scott due to their alleged connection to a bribery scheme.

Three shareholder proposals were defeated. Details on the percentages of votes cast for and against each board member are set to be released on Monday.

The world's largest retailer has been under fire from shareholders and activists after the New York Times reported in April that management at Wal-Mart de Mexico, or Walmex, allegedly orchestrated bribes of $24 million to help it grow quickly last decade and that Wal-Mart's top brass tried to cover it up.

Wal-Mart has repeatedly said it would not comment on the specific allegations until the investigations are complete.

While holders of millions of Wal-Mart shares voted against some or all board members, such efforts had little chance of succeeding because the family of founder Sam Walton owns roughly half of Wal-Mart's 3.4 billion shares and votes.

(Reporting by Jessica Wohl and Lisa Baertlein in Fayetteville, Arkansas)

 
Wal-Mart shareholders Bob and Sharon Frye shop at a Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market store in Bentonville, Arkansas, May 31, 2012. REUTERS/Jacob Slaton