BENTONVILLE, AR: Gus Whitcomb, director of public relations for Wal-Mart, is leaving the home office to become the retailer's regional corporate affairs director in Dallas.
The move is part of an effort Wal-Mart began roughly a year ago to put corporate communications people in key cities and areas of the country where it operates, explained Mona Williams, VP communications.
In addition to Whitcomb in Dallas, Wal-Mart also has corporate affairs people in San Francisco, Phoenix, and Washington, DC. They report to Carol Schumacher, Wal-Mart's VP of field corporate affairs, not to Williams. Whitcomb had reported to Williams before his transfer.
A search is under way to replace Whitcomb at headquarters. His former position has been upgraded to senior director of PR, said Williams. Wal-Mart also is searching for a PR manager and an internal communications manager.
The company began this year vowing to speak up more about the benefits it provides workers and the communities in which it does business. It held its first-ever media conference April 5-6 near its Bentonville headquarters.