Two Walmart China executives resign amid on-going investigation

By Kacey Culliney

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Supermarket

Two Walmart China executives resign
Two Walmart China executives resign
Walmart China’s CEO and the VP of human resources have resigned amid the investigations into the ten of its stores that allegedly mislabelled regular pork as organic.

The ten stores in the Chongqing province remain closed to the public while the government authorities continue the probe. The ordered closures come to an end on October 24.

Ed Chan has been the president and CEO of Walmart China since 2007 and Clara Wong was the senior VP for human resources.

Walmart China has stated that Chan has left the company citing personal reasons and the company has made no links between the current investigation and his resignation.

Scott Price, Walmart Asia’s CEO is replacing Chan and will now serve as the interim leader for the China arm of the company until a new CEO is named.

Clashes with authorities

Since its entry into China, Walmart has had several issues with the authorities.

Earlier this year, the US retail giant was fined for deceptive price labelling and in 2007, following an inspection by the authorities it recalled some of its organic vegetables after some were found to have been treated with pesticides.

James Roy, senior analyst at China Market Research (CMR) said that the current investigations into the mislabelling of its pork will have caused negative and unwanted attention for Walmart.

The supermarket chain has been revelling in the opportunities arising from consumer mistrust in China food safety, as consumers turn to larger retailers for assurance, Roy explained.

But this investigation will certainly damage its reputation and consumer trust in its brand.

New CEO Scott Price has stated that this is a positive time for Walmart China.

He said: “Walmart has made valuable contributions to the economy, industry and to the community… I am confident that the China management team will continue to lead Walmart’s expansion and will continue to save Chinese customers money so that they can live better.”

Global retail giant Walmart currently has 353 units in 130 cities across China and has been in China since 1996.

Related topics: Business, Food safety, East Asia, China

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