After two years as No. 1 on the Fortune 500 list, Wal-Mart has been pushed to the second spot, switching places with ExxonMobil.
Wal-Mart, which is under fire for allegedly bribing Mexican officials to build stores quickly in the country, reported 2011 revenue of $447 billion, compared with Exxon's $452.9 billion. The company also posted a $15.7 billion profit, while Exxon garnered $41.1 billion last year.
On April 23, two days after The New York Times published an article about Mexican bribery allegations against Wal-Mart, the company's shares dropped by about 5% and shares of Wal-Mart de Mexico dropped 11.6%.
Despite Wal-Mart's quick efforts to respond to the allegations by posting an online video of VP of corporate communications David Tovar talking about the issue, the company is still seeing negative repercussions from the satiation.
Last Friday, the California State Teachers' Retirement Board, which is the second-largest US public pension fund, sued Wal-Mart, calling the company's senior leadership into question. The union has about 5.3 million shares of Wal-Mart.
With an ongoing lawsuit, Wal-Mart will be in the spotlight for a while, so it should continue to be transparent with stakeholders, employees, and consumers. It's also a good idea for the company to keep posting videos on its corporate website and Twitter and YouTube accounts to update consumers on the progress of the investigation.