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BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Wal-Mart Stores, the world's largest retailer, last week unexpectedly revealed its chief executive will retire in February and be replaced by the head of its international division, Mike Duke.
Duke, 58, will take over the reins from Lee Scott, 59, effective Feb. 1. Duke also becomes a member of the board of directors effective immediately, while Scott will continue as chairman of the board.
In addition, Eduardo Castro-Wright, 53, was promoted to vice chairman, adding to his current titles of president and chief executive of Wal-Mart U.S. He will also take over the company's global procurement operation.
The moves come a week after the retailer said third-quarter profit rose 10 percent as shoppers hunting for discounts snapped up early Christmas promotions.
The international business is the company's fastest-growing division. Its profit rose 11 percent during the third quarter, while U.S. profit rose 7 percent.
Scott joined Wal-Mart in 1979 as assistant director in the logistics division. He became president and chief executive in 2000.
Duke joined the retailer in 1995 and has served in a variety of posts, including president and chief executive of Wal-Mart Stores division in the U.S.