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Carlyle Group eyes retail and CPG world with Walmart exec on team


Former Walmart CEO and current board member Mike Duke is the newest operating executive at the Carlyle Group, which suggests the pace of deal-making activity in the retail and consumer packaged goods world could be about to heat up.

Duke, 65, spent nearly two decades at Walmart, joining the retailer in 1995 and stepping down as CEO in early 2014. He has served on the board since 2008. At Carlyle Group, one of the world’s largest and most diversified global alternative asset management firms, Duke will serve as one of 26 operating executives who provide strategic guidance to Carlyle professionals throughout the investment process. He will also advise portfolio company executives on management, operational, branding and growth strategies.

“We are thrilled to welcome Mike to the Carlyle team following more than 40 years in the retail industry, including 20 years in increasingly senior roles at Wal-Mart. Mike will be an invaluable addition to our team, helping drive value creation within our existing portfolio and adding a new dimension as we research new investments,” said Sandra Horbach, Carlyle managing director and head of the Global Consumer and Retail group where Duke will lend his expertise.

Carlyle was founded in Washington, D.C. in 1987 and currently has more than $194 billion in assets under management. However, since the firm’s inception, it has invested only $12 billion of equity in 70 transactions in the consumer and retail space, including Dunkin’ Brands, CVC, NBTY, Beats, Vogue and Acosta.

“I am excited to partner with Sandra and her team and look forward to leveraging my experiences as an operator to build on Carlyle’s impressive consumer and retail investment track record,” Duke said.

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