Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s June 1 annual meeting will feature Aerosmith and Cheap Trick as the warm-up acts. The real entertainment starts when shareholders vote whether to re-elect the company’s board.
In recent days, one pension fund after another has vowed to vote against some or all directors in the wake of allegations that executives bribed Mexican officials to open stores faster. All 16 members of the board, including Chief Executive Officer Mike Duke and Chairman Rob Walton, are up for election. Adding to the pressure, the U.S. is weighing whether to charge executives with crimes that could bring jail time.
The federal government has been cracking down harder on overseas bribery since the Bush administration, when the Justice Department began aggressively targeting executives.