Wal-Mart to recruit ethics supremo

Wal-Mart is to recruit a full-time director of global ethics, to ensure the retailer’s code of conduct is applied across its global network of more than 6,200 stores and 1.6 million employees in 15 countries, including Asda in the UK.

The company has faced criticism about its working practices, with unions claiming various ethical breaches.

The retailer paid $11m (£5.8m) in civil penalties to the US government to settle charges that it employed illegal immigrants to clean some of its stores, and it is facing a high profile class-action lawsuit in California claiming it discriminated against female employees.

The retail giant has also been embarrassed by revelations that its vice-chairman, Tom Coughlin, had been pilfering company money and goods for years for his personal benefit.

Wal-Mart spokeswoman Sarah Clark said the ethics remit had been overseen by someone who also had other responsibilities. “It has been restructured so that this person is going to look after only this,” she said.

Wal-Mart is looking for an experienced professional to lead its global ethics strategy and oversee ethics-related infrastructure, administration and training.

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