Former White House counselor Dan Bartlett left his role as president and CEO of Hill+Knowlton Strategies US in May to become EVP of corporate affairs at Walmart.
Walmart reclaimed the top spot in the Fortune 500 this year, so Bartlett is serving in one of the most powerful communications jobs in the world. Reporting directly to CEO Mike Duke, he is responsible for shaping the retail giant's image amid slowing sales and reputational issues such as a bribery probe in Mexico, employee protests, and increased scrutiny on its safety standards at Bangladeshi suppliers.
At press time, Bloomberg News speculated that Duke was on his way out in the coming months, meaning Bartlett would have to help navigate a leadership transition and gain the ear of a new chief executive at one of the most scrutinized publicly traded companies.
Like his predecessor Leslie Dach, Bartlett has served as a member of the White House communications staff, advising President George W. Bush. Drawing on that experience in high-pressure situations, Bartlett will have to continue Dach's efforts of positioning Walmart as a good corporate citizen in addition to being a leading low-cost retailer.