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Former Wal-Mart exec to head Michaels


IRVING, Texas Interesting changes could be in store at Michaels Stores following the company’s recent hiring of former Wal-Mart executive John Menzer as president and CEO.

Menzer most recently served as vice chairman and chief administrative officer of Wal-Mart Stores, but during his 12 years with the company he also served as CFO, president and ceo of Wal-Mart International and vice chairman responsible for the company’s U.S. stores division. His arrival at Michaels was made possible after Brian Cornell resigned as president and CEO to become president and CEO of Wal-Mart’s Sam’s Club division.

“I am excited to be joining Michaels, an outstanding company that has great potential to expand its position as the market leader in the arts and crafts industry,” Menzer said. “I look forward to joining a best-in-class leadership team and helping take our company to the next level.”

Regarded as a strategic thinker, Menzer was the architect behind Wal-Mart’s decision to focus on asset productivity in the 1990’s that led to several years of outsize stock market gains and later brought new thinking to international operations where more control was ceded to in-country operators. He served briefly as vice chairman responsible for U.S. operations, and, during that time, was instrumental in implementing a new capital decision-making framework that resulted in Wal-Mart curtailing new store growth in advance of the downturn in the U.S. economy.

He left Wal-Mart in 2007, and his decision to come out of retirement to join Michaels suggests the private equity owners, Bain Capital and the Blackstone Group, are positioning the company for a return to public ownership after taking the company private in late 2006. While market conditions are currently unfavorable for an initial public stock offering, the company efforts in that regard will be aided by the appointment of a high caliber CEO with long track record of accomplishments at the world’s largest retailer.

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