November 10, 2004

David Farber on Small Town WM

Interesting piece on WM's small-town culture, and the still dominant ethos of Sam Walton:

Scott and Chief Financial Officer Tom Schoewe earned a combined $14 million in stock and cash in 2003. But on business trips, the two will share a $49 hotel room.

"Sharing rooms is a very symbolic part of what we do," Scott says. "It's also an equalizer. If I'm asking the district managers to share a room, but I won't share a room with Schoewe, then what am I saying? There are two different standards here? The customer is the most important thing for all of you, but for me I think I'll run a different standard.

"You can't do that. You can't do it because it's not how Sam would have done it."

Says Glass, "Sam has been gone for a number of years now, but he's still alive and well in this company to a great extent. There's not a day that goes by that I don't hear conversations around here about what Sam would do or how he felt about something."

Posted by Kevin on November, 10 2004 at 10:24 AM