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Michael Duke

Former CEO of Walmart
  • Led Walmart’s global expansion into 27 countries and prioritization of e-commerce
  • Grew the company’s net income by 27-percent in his first year as CEO
  • Ranked No. 10 on Forbes’ 2013 list of “The World’s Most Powerful People”
  • Shares the key characteristics that helped him lead the “largest business in the world”
Topics & Types
RetailBusiness StrategyGrowthBusiness Leaders From Major BrandsCEOs

Mike Duke served as the CEO of Walmart, the world’s largest retailer and the biggest private employer, from 2009–2014. He was the fourth CEO since the company became publicly traded in 1970. Inheriting an organization facing one of the toughest retail environments in company history, he helped navigate a period of economic, social, and technological change while delivering strong financial results. He grew the retailer’s net income 27-percent in his first year (despite the recession) and worked to restructure the company prioritizing e-commerce. Under his leadership, Walmart made serious investments in high-tech talent, acquired several startups, and injected a bit of Silicon Valley into Bentonville, Arkansas. The company also expanded significantly internationally and became a leader on the issues of sustainability and corporate social responsibility. Much of this success can be attributed to Duke’s strong leadership regarding the company’s culture and core values. Walmart has the power to positively influence governments, businesses, and individuals around the world, and Duke make sure that the company not only grew but grew with integrity.

Ranked No. 10 on Forbes’ list of “The World’s Most Powerful People” in 2013, Duke built his expertise by learning from and interacting with everyone from Walmart customers around the world to officials in the highest levels of government. With Southern charm and a warm personality, he shares insights on leadership, corporate culture, sustainability, and international growth. He is exclusively represented by Leading Authorities, Inc. speakers bureau.

Walmart Experience. Under Duke’s leadership as CEO, Walmart greatly expanded internationally. Now in 27 countries across the world, he helped the company enter Africa and grow in China, Latin America, and other markets. He was also a driving force behind Walmart’s leadership on environmental issues, including its goals of being waste free and operating on renewable energy. Duke joined Walmart in 1995 and led the logistics, distribution, and administration divisions, as well as Walmart U.S. From 2005–2009, he served as vice chairman of the company, with responsibility for Walmart International. Prior to joining the company, he had 23 years of experience in retailing with Federated Department Stores and May Department Stores.

Education and Boards. Duke has served on the board of The Consumer Goods Forum, the executive committee of Business Roundtable, and the executive board of Conservation International’s Center for Environment Leadership in Business. He has also sat on the Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management Advisory Board in Beijing. He currently serves as Adjunct Professor at his alma mater, Georgia Tech, and also serves on the Georgia Tech Foundation Board of Trustees. He is currently a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Duke received a Bachelor of Industrial Engineering from Georgia Tech, and was awarded honorary doctorates from University of Arkansas and Georgia Tech. He has also received honors and awards from many organizations, including the Executives’ Club of Chicago’s “International Executive of the Year Award,” the Grocery Manufacturers Association’s “Hall of Achievement Award,” the Committee Encouraging Philanthropy’s “Force for Good Award,” and the Committee for Economic Development’s “Global Leadership Award.”

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Location/Travels from: AR
$55,001 - $75,000*
US East
$75,001 and up*
US West
$75,001 and up*
$75,001 and up*
$75,001 and up*

* This specific fee falls within this range. Ranges are presented as a guideline only. Speaker fees are subject to change without notice.
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