Regional office drives best practice sharing and leverage, global talent and business development, and helps in-country operations make decisions with speed
MIAMI, Feb. 23, 2010 –Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) announced today the opening of its new headquarters in South Florida for the company’s Latin America regional operations, and also introduced the new regional president and chief executive officer, Eduardo Solórzano.
“We’re very enthused about having our new Latin America regional headquarters here in Miami, which some describe as a gateway to Latin America,” Solórzano said, speaking to reporters at his first press conference in his new role. “The opening of this new regional office reflects a renewed level of service and support Walmart Latinoamérica is ready to provide, to our markets, to our associates, to our stores, and to the people in countries throughout Latin America, whether we have stores in those countries yet or not.”
According to Solórzano, the office also ensures the nine countries where Walmart operates in Latinoamérica, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Nicaragua can make decisions with speed and have the support they need to be “customers’ first choice in retailing.”
“Throughout Latin America we are focused on the fundamentals of growth, leverage and performance,” Solórzano said. “Our strengthened regional operations will be an asset to all three. By leveraging Walmart’s energy as both a global retailer and purchaser, we enable individual Walmart stores to deliver lower prices and better value to consumers. We also look forward to coordinating synergies between our organizations in the different countries of Latin America.”
Solórzano went on to introduce his Miami-based regional leadership team, which includes natives of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Mexico, “people who respect and understand the different cultures of not only the countries where we do business, but also countries where we could potentially do business in the future,” Solórzano said.
“We are primed for a continuing and expanding role in the growth of Latin America, not just as retailers, but as responsible corporate citizens,” he said. “One recent example is at Walmart Argentina, where we have obtained Equity Gender Certification, which is given by the World Bank and INADI, Argentina’s National Institute against racism and xenophobia. We are the only retail company there to obtain this certification. Along with the direct farm, capacity building and sustainability programs we’re undertaking across Latin America, these are the types of opportunities we are pursuing to bring value to our customers, our associates and our communities, to help people everywhere live better.”
Solórzano assumed his new role Jan. 18, having led Wal-Mart de Mexico SAB (WALMEX.MX) since early 2005, where he oversaw dramatic expansion of the business in terms of units, associates, sales and share value. With that company’s recent acquisition of Walmart’s operations in Central America, he was been instrumental in expanding the company beyond Mexico. In addition, Solórzano was responsible for the conception and creation of Banco Walmart, the world’s first Walmart bank, and the development of successful new formats such as Bodega Aurrera Express.
Solórzano’s career at Walmart de Mexico began in 1985, when he joined Grupo Cifra-Aurrera, holding several management positions in Operations, Merchandising and Logistics. In 1998, he was named director of Food for Walmart Supercenters, and later, as vice president of this format, he was instrumental in the successful implementation of “Every Day Low Prices” in Mexico. Solórzano went on to be named executive president for Self-Service and then chief operating officer, before being named president and chief executive officer of Walmart de Mexico. During his tenure in that role, the company’s sales increased from $137 to $262 billion pesos, and expanded from 694 to 1329 stores.
About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) serves customers and members more than 200 million times per week at more than 8,000 retail units under 53 different banners in 15 countries. With fiscal year 2009 sales of $401 billion, Walmart employs more than 2.1 million associates worldwide. A leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity, Walmart ranked first among retailers in Fortune Magazine’s 2009 Most Admired Companies survey. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting www.walmartstores.com. Online merchandise sales are available at www.walmart.com and www.samsclub.com.