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Walmart Inc NYSE:WMT NYSE Common Stock
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Walmart Compliance Chief to Depart -- Update

14/04/2021 2:41am

Dow Jones News


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By Dylan Tokar 

Walmart Inc. is searching for a new chief ethics and compliance officer as Daniel Trujillo -- who for the past two years led the retail giant's global compliance program -- prepares to leave the company.

Mr. Trujillo, will depart the Bentonville, Ark., company on Friday, according to an internal memo shared with The Wall Street Journal.

Walmart has yet to identify a replacement for Mr. Trujillo, a company spokeswoman said. His departure was reported earlier by Law360, a legal trade publication.

"Under Daniel's leadership, we expanded our talent around the world and implemented comprehensive policies, processes, and systems to manage compliance risks associated with a broad range of subject matters," Rachel Brand, Walmart's chief legal officer, said in the memo.

Information on what Mr. Trujillo plans to do next wasn't provided. Reached directly, he referred a request for comment to the company's spokespeople.

Mr. Trujillo joined the company in 2012 as a senior vice president and international chief compliance officer. He was promoted to executive vice president and global chief ethics and compliance officer in 2019.

Before joining Walmart, Mr. Trujillo spent more than 15 years in various legal and compliance positions at the Houston-based oil-field services firm Schlumberger Ltd.

Mr. Trujillo's time in Walmart's compliance department coincided with long-running investigations by the U.S. Justice Department and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission into allegations of bribery in Mexico and elsewhere.

The company in 2019 agreed to pay $282 million to resolve the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigations. The company also spent heavily to strengthen its compliance program, accruing more than $900 million in costs for compliance enhancements and internal investigations by the time of the settlement.

After the FCPA settlements, Mr. Trujillo worked to support an independent compliance monitor who was assigned by the Justice Department to oversee its compliance reforms, Walmart said.

Walmart's monitor, former Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Louis Freeh, is scheduled to end his two-year term overseeing the company this year, unless prosecutors ask for an extension.

The company is currently facing a lawsuit by federal prosecutors over its compliance with the Controlled Substances Act. In a complaint filed in December, prosecutors alleged that the company helped fuel the nation's opioid crisis by inadequately screening for questionable prescriptions despite repeated warnings from its own pharmacists.

Walmart has attacked the complaint, saying in a public filing that the lawsuit "invents a legal theory that unlawfully forces pharmacists to come between patients and their doctors, and is riddled with factual inaccuracies and cherry-picked documents taken out of context."

Before the government filed its lawsuit, the company last year pre-emptively sued the Justice Department to fight the allegations. Walmart in its lawsuit accused the Justice Department and Drug Enforcement Administration of attempting to scapegoat the company for what it says are the federal government's own regulatory and enforcement shortcomings.

Write to Dylan Tokar at dylan.tokar@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 13, 2021 21:26 ET (01:26 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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