In the current economic recession, Wal-Mart has been one of the recent revenue and earnings bright spots of late. That's why it's a bit surprising that current CEO, H. Lee Scott, has announced he will be retiring next year. Scott came from a supply chain background and continued to raise the cost torch high throughout his tenure at the retail giant. And it looks like his successor will as well. A Bloomberg dispatch from Friday suggests that the incoming CEO, Mike Duke, has the right stuff to continue Scott's programs. The story notes that, "Duke, an industrial engineering graduate of Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, helped Wal-Mart curb distribution and logistical costs as an executive" in its global operating units. For everyone in the Spend Management world, this is further proof that the world's top performing companies are hiring leaders with expertise in what we do every day. In today's cost-focused climate, those finance and sales geeks need not apply for the top spot (unless, of course, they have a good understanding of the supply side of the business as well).
- Jason Busch