Native Fayette Countian To Head Walmart

Wed, 01/21/2009 - 10:03am
By: Carolyn Cary

Native Fayette Countian To Head Walmart

Just 11 days from today, Mike Duke, a native Fayette Countian, will become president and CEO of Walmart Stores, Inc.

Duke, 58, is a 1957 graduate of Fayette County High School, where he served as president of his senior class. He is also a graduate of Georgia Tech with a bachelors degree in Industrial Engineering in 1971.

He joined the company in 1995 and is taking the reins from Lee Scott, current CEO. Scott will remain as chairman of the executive committee of the board.

Duke is only the fourth CEO since the company was founded in 1962.

In a press release of November, 2008, Rob Walton, chairman of the Walmart board of directors said, "Mike Duke is a highly respected executive both domestically and internationally, with board experience throughout the company. He has successfully led the Walmart Logistics Division, U.S. operations, and International operations. He understands retail and appreciates the complex global environment in which we operate. He is committed to the culture of Walmart, its mission, and to our associates and customers. He has built strong teams wherever he has led," Walton concluded.

Duke grew up in the Ebenezer Church Road community, and his mother, the former Evelyn Pope still resides there.

A member of Ebenezer United Methodist Church while growing up, he always attends here when visiting.

"Growing up in Fayette County was truly a blessing," he said " I grew up with a wonderful Mom and  Dad and a very close and loving family. They taught me the values that formed the foundation of who I am, including a strong work ethic. My teachers at Fayette County public schools gave me a fantastic educational foundation. My friends, teachers, and pastors at Ebenezer United Methodist Church gave me my faith foundation.

"I could not imagine a better place to grow up," he added.

Said Barrett H. Carson, Vice President of Development, Georgia Tech, "Mike was a member of the prestigious Georgia Tech Advisory Board, where he served the maximum two terms from 1999-2005, advising the Institute's president and senior administration on strategic issues.

"Walmart rings profitability out of very small margins through efficiencies, and passes it on to the customer. And that's what industrial engineers  are trained to do. Mike is a classic Georgia Tech IE - he's practicing directly in his field. I would suggest that his best work is yet to come," Carson concluded.

When Duke was asked for a statement on working for Walmart he said "I am blessed to have grown up in Fayette County and I am blessed to be a part of  great organization like Walmart. Sam Walton created something very special, as he demonstrated the American dream with the success of Walmart. Today, we still manage the company based on the culture that he created - a culture based on integrity. It is exciting to be involved in make this a better world with our initiatives around sustainability. We create good jobs for our associates. We are involved in helping other businesses and government leaders tackle some of the difficult challenges that our world faces," he said.

Fayette County is blessed to send forth one of its citizens to take a prominent place in the national and international arena.

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James_A_White's picture
Submitted by James_A_White on Sat, 01/24/2009 - 9:21pm.

My, he must have been quite the precocious scholar to graduate high school at the age of six.

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