BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores here said Monday all directors were reelected at Friday's annual shareholder meeting, although Robson Walton Jr., the chairman, and Mike Duke, president and chief executive officer, received a high percentage of "no" votes in the wake of allegations the company bribed officials in Mexico.
The company said 13.07% of shares were voted against Duke (right) and 12.63% against Walton. The highest number of “no” votes was cast against H. Lee Scott Jr., the former president and CEO, with 15.65%. Director Christopher J. Williams, president and CEO of Williams Capital Group, a New York-based investment bank, had 13.26% of the votes cast against his reelection. No other director received a “no” vote higher than 6.26%.
Since members of the Walton family own close to 50% of the outstanding shares, all directors were expected to be reelected. However, industry observers said a "no" vote by at least 10% of shareholders would be significant.
Some shareholder groups had advocated the removal of several directors, including Walton and Duke, for their alleged role in the bribery scandal. The chain has said it has launched an internal investigation of the allegations and is overhauling its compliance programs.