Remembering Jack Shewmaker
To: All Home Office associates
From: Mike Duke, President & CEO, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Date: Nov. 18, 2010
RE: Remembering Jack Shewmaker
I am personally very sad to share with you that one of Walmart’s greatest warriors passed away last night after many years of service to the company. As many of you know, Jack Shewmaker had been with Walmart since its earliest days. He loved this company and gave it his heart as well as his considerable talents. He was a dear personal friend and, though the company will benefit from his contributions for years to come, it is hard to imagine Walmart without Jack.
Jack was an extraordinarily gifted merchant and one of my greatest ongoing development opportunities was to walk stores and clubs with Jack – with him striding ahead and me taking notes as quickly as I could. He was a mentor to many of us and one of his greatest pleasures over the past few years was developing young merchants. Even after his retirement he continued to attend buyer seminars and operations meetings. As a matter of fact, he was scheduled to speak at one of our buyer meetings later today.
Jack joined the company in 1970 and retired in 1988. He was hired by Sam Walton as a district manager and rose to become president and COO of the company in 1978. He was instrumental in developing our Every Day Low Pricing strategy, which defined our company and set new standards in the retail industry for providing customers with consistent, reliable value. He was also a strong advocate of Walmart’s pioneering development of technology. He led the company’s adoption of bar codes and the launch of its first satellite system in 1983, tying together Walmart’s stores, distribution centers and home office. A year later, he was named vice chairman and chief financial officer, where he served until his retirement in 1988. Jack was also a member of the Walmart Board from 1977 to 2008.
Funeral services will be held at noon Monday, November 22 at the Fellowship Bible Church in Rogers. No visitation is planned. The family has asked that, in lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to one of the following organizations:
- Jack C. Shewmaker Memorial, Jack Shewmaker Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) World Headquarters, 1959 East Kerr, Springfield, MO 65803
- Northwest Arkansas Community College (NWACC) Foundation, 1 College Drive, Bentonville, AR 72712-5091
- Westark Area Council, Boy Scouts of America,1401 Old Greenwood Road, Fort Smith, AR 72901
Our company owes Jack a tremendous debt of gratitude and our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time.