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Walmart names new EVP, adds to board of directors

Walmart has hired Rachel Brand as executive vice president of global governance and corporate secretary. Brand will report to President and Chief Executive Officer Doug McMillon. Additionally, the company's board of directors has appointed Sarah Friar, chief financial officer of Square Inc., as a new independent director to the company’s board, effective immediately. Friar becomes the 12 member of the board and will also serve as a member of the company’s Audit Committee and Strategic Planning and Finance

Brand will be responsible for the organization’s legal, global ethics and compliance, and global investigation, security, aviation and travel departments, along with her role as corporate secretary.

“We are fortunate to have a leader of Rachel Brand’s stature join the company,” McMillon said. “We have strengthened our governance capabilities and Rachel will help us continue on that journey. Her strong character, capabilities and experience will enable her to contribute broadly as we shape the future of Walmart and strive to serve our customers even more effectively.”

Brand is replacing Jeff Gearhart, who retired at the end of January. Brand brings deep academic and professional experience to her role, coming to the company from the U.S. Department of Justice, where she served as associate attorney general, the department’s third-ranking position. Brand, the first woman to serve as associate attorney general, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate and sworn into office May 22, 2017. As associate attorney general, Brand oversaw thousands of attorneys and professionals across the department’s civil law divisions, including antitrust, tax and environment and natural resources.

After graduating from Harvard Law School, where she served as deputy editor-in-chief of the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Brand clerked on the Massachusetts Supreme Court and then the U.S. Supreme Court, where she clerked for Justice Anthony Kennedy. Brand previously served as assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Policy in the George W. Bush administration and was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board.

“We’re pleased to welcome Sarah to the Walmart board and know that Walmart will benefit from her fresh perspective and skillset, which includes strong expertise in finance, operations, strategy and knowledge of technology,” said Walmart Chairman of the Board Greg Penner. “We’re confident Walmart has the right strategy to drive sustainable growth and shareholder returns and believe that Sarah’s insights and experience as a board member will complement the company’s ongoing efforts to better serve customers.”

"From raising wages to leading important sustainability initiatives, Walmart is one of the few businesses able to effect meaningful, positive change on a global scale," Friar said. "I look forward to working with the team to continue building a company and a culture worthy of this responsibility."

Since July 2012, Friar has served as CFO of Square Inc., a provider of commerce tools that help businesses start, run, and grow from payments to point-of-sale to financing. Prior to that, she served as the senior vice president of finance and strategy at Salesforce. From July 2000 to April 2011, Friar served in various positions at investment banking company The Goldman Sachs Group Inc., including managing director in the Equity Research Division.