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H. Lee Scott, Jr. is an American businessman, who served as the third chief executive officer of Wal-Martmarker, from January 2000 to January 2009. Scott originally joined Wal-Mart in 1979. Under his leadership, the company retained its position as the largest retailer in the world based on revenue, although the company faced growing criticism during his tenure for its environmental footprint, labor practices, and economic impact.

Scott was born and raised in Baxter Springs, Kansasmarker and graduated with a degree in business from Pittsburg State Universitymarker in Kansasmarker. He is married to Linda G. Scott and has two children. The family has residences in Arkansas. Scott was named to the TIME magazine list of the hundred "most influential people" in 2004 and 2005.

Criticism

Wal-Mart frequently came under criticisms by the media and the public during Scott's tenure. Among other criticisms, Wal-Mart was questioned for its trade with Chinamarker and for its labor policies. In response to accusations that Wal-Mart's trade with China resulted in a loss of manufacturing jobs in the United Statesmarker, Scott stated that many companies other than Wal-Mart also engage in trade with China and that he observed lack of innovation among producers in the U.S. Critics have also charged Wal-Mart with implementing policies detrimental or unfair to retail store employees, such as low hourly wages and anti-labor union policies. Scott responded that Wal-Mart actually pays its employees more than other retailers do and that a large percentage of the workers enjoy health benefits. According to Scott, he believes such criticism hurt employee morale and that employees called on him to respond and speak up for them.

On February 17, 2006, a headline in the business section of the New York Times reported a leak of Scott's internal website, "Lee's Garage". The site had started as a means of communicating with his far-flung managers, but was now accessible by all employees. A disgruntled manager allegedly disclosed the site to the Wal-Mart Watch website, which reprinted the article. The article portrays an aspect of Scott different from what he intended to convey in public; he apparently was sarcastic toward managers who questioned the company's benefits and other policies, labeling those managers as disloyal.

In February 2007, evidently in response to the criticisms, Scott launched Sustainability 360 during a keynote lecture at Prince of Wales's Business and Environment Program [117475] in Londonmarker.

References

  1. On Private Web Site, Wal-Mart Chief Talks Tough - New York Times
  2. Crazy Politico's Rantings: NY Times Makes Wal Mart Look Good
  3. The social responsibility revolution | csmonitor.com


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