BENTONVILLE, AR: Wal-Mart is defending its decision to release salacious e-mails in its filed countersuit against former marketing executive Julie Roehm, who is suing the company for breach of contract for firing her last December.
In its countersuit, WM included e-mails between Roehm and fellow fired marketing VP Sean Womack. The e-mails allegedly prove that the two were having an improper personal relationship, and scheming together to land a job at an outside ad agency, the company said.
"When we fired her, we had no intention of sharing the details of her personal and professional misconduct," said Mona Williams, WM's VP of corporate communications, reading from a statement. "[But] she made disparaging the company a centerpiece of her self-promotion. She filed suit, and we must respond to her lawsuit. We're in a position where we have no choice."
Since her firing, Roehm has in fact disparaged WM in the media as a company binded by outdated traditions.
PRWeek could not reach Roehm, who has not returned calls to other publications since the countersuit broke. Roehm's attorneys, John Schaefer and B. Andrew Rifkin, called the suit a "smear tactic," in a statement.
Williams said that the company has not yet selected a replacement for Roehm, but that it still plans to fill the position. She added that the publicity surrounding the suit is not affecting the company's recruitment efforts.