The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Business

March 9, 2013

Top Wal-Mart executive who helped remake company image announces he is leaving

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Leslie Dach, who played an influential role in reinventing the image of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in the face of mounting attacks by labor groups and other critics, is leaving the company in June after seven years.

Dach, 58, joined Wal-Mart in August 2006 as executive vice president of corporate affairs, a newly created position. He came on board amid mounting anti-Wal-Mart attacks that ranged from complaints about the company's treatment of its workers to its need to address its impact on the environment.

During Dach's tenure, Wal-Mart launched a number of sweeping initiatives. Those included working with major suppliers to reduce packaging, and making its food healthier by embracing steps to lower salt, fats and sugars. More recent initiatives include boosting sourcing of U.S. products by $50 billion over the next decade. Wal-Mart has also launched a program to help empower female factory workers in India, Bangladesh, China and Central America.

Many of the initiatives have not only helped improve Wal-Mart's reputation but have also been good business decisions.

Before joining Wal-Mart, Dach was vice chairman of Edelman, a major global communications firm, where he led the Washington office, the company's research, advertising and corporate social responsibility consulting divisions and its global affairs, crisis, technology and health care practices. Dach also had been active as a strategist in Democratic politics and worked in a number of presidential campaigns. He also served in President Bill Clinton's administration.

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