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Wal-Mart Hires Former KPMG Exec as Bribery Concerns Persist
August 4, 2012
By Michael Foster, Big4.com Blogger
Multi-national supermarket and superstore chain Wal-Mart has announced that Timothy Flynn, former KPMG Global Chairman, will be joining its Executive Board and will also have responsibilities as part of the company’s audit committee.
Flynn joined KPMG in 1979 and worked at the firm until his recent retirement. He was Chairman for nearly five full years. Besides being Global Chairman, he had also served as Global Managing Partner Audit and Global Managing Partner for Human Resources.
His auditing and management experience come to Wal-Mart at a crucial time, as the company battles concerns that its auditing may be unreliable. These worries stem from a bribery scandal, after the New York Times reported that Wal-Mart’s Mexican firm had paid millions of dollars in bribes to gain special favors, including expedited building permits and special treatment from regulators.
According to the Times, executives ignored evidence of the bribes even after a probe in 2005 uncovered the activity.
Investigations in the U.S. and Mexico remain underway, as well as an anti-corruption compliance review by the firm. Several shareholder lawsuits have also followed, and demands for the removal of Wal-Mart’s Chairman and CEO have surfaced. Nonetheless, both were re-elected to the company’s Board of Executives in June, as was former CEO Lee Scott.