Wal-Mart Stores Inc. reached outside the company to hire a leader for its Asia business.

This story first appeared in the September 11, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The retailer on Thursday named Scott Price, a former top DHL executive, as president and chief executive officer of Wal-Mart Asia.

The world’s largest retailer traditionally chose leaders from its own talent pool, but that has changed in recent years. Wal-Mart recruited from outside the company Leslie Dach, executive vice president of corporate affairs and government relations, who was vice chairman of Edelman, a global public relations firm, and Brian Cornell, president and ceo of Sam’s Club, who was ceo of Michael’s Stores.

Price, who also holds the title of executive vice president, knows Asia well. He was ceo of DHL Express Asia Pacific and president of DHL Express Japan before being named ceo of DHL Express Europe.

Price reports to Doug McMillon, president and ceo of Wal-Mart International, and is responsible for the company’s operations in Asia, including the fast-growing Wal-Mart China and Seiyu, the Japanese division, which is struggling. In addition, there’s the burgeoning business in India. Bharti-Wal-Mart Pvt. Ltd., the joint venture between Bharti Enterprises and Wal-Mart, opened its first store in Amritsar in May.

Price “has established a history of delivering results in the Asian markets,” McMillon said. “He knows the countries, he knows the customers, he knows how to run a business and he knows the region’s potential. We are eager to leverage his insight and capabilities to further our efforts in this region.”

Price succeeds Vicente Trius, who was named executive vice president, president and ceo of Wal-Mart Latin America in May. Trius joined Wal-Mart Asia in December 2008 after heading Wal-Mart Brazil for 11 years.

For the year ending Jan. 31, Wal-Mart International recorded sales of $98.6 billion, a 9.1 percent increase over the previous year. Wal-Mart has about 630 units in China and Japan and more than 100,000 associates.

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