Resumé discrepancy led to Tovar leaving Walmart

Walmart discovered that David Tovar had not obtained a bachelor's degree from the University of Delaware in 1996, which he had claimed, during the screening process for a promotion to SVP.

Outgoing Walmart communications VP David Tovar resigned after the retailer found out that he had not received a diploma from the University of Delaware, the school from which he claimed to earn a bachelor’s degree in 1996.

Bloomberg News reported that Walmart executives discovered the discrepancy while screening Tovar’s background before he could be promoted to SVP. He resigned last week after eight years at the company.

Tovar told PRWeek on Tuesday that he has contacted the university to find out how he can finish his degree. He said "something was flagged as it relates to my education" in a background check during the promotion process.

Tovar explained that he was an art major for four years, from 1992 to 1996, at the University of Delaware and walked at graduation, only to find out later that he was "a few credit hours short" of completing his art degree. Already in New York with a job, Tovar said he "didn’t necessarily think an art degree was going to be necessary or helpful in building my PR or communications career, so I never looked back."

Fast-forward 18 years, Walmart told Tovar that given its discovery, he could not be promoted to SVP, so he decided "it was probably best for me to move on."

With a few weeks left at the company, Tovar said Walmart had been "incredibly supportive" throughout the process and he has "nothing but good things to say about my time there."

"I’m confident that I’ll land on my feet and I’ll work through this tough issue," he said. "I made a mistake and there’s nothing I can do to change the past."

Tovar started at Walmart in 2006 as director of media relations, was promoted to senior director of media relations in 2007, and named communications team leader in 2011.

Previously, he was director of corporate and government affairs at Kraft Foods and district director of state government affairs for Altria.

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