WAL-MART PROBE: Jared Bowen, the fired Wal-Mart executive who sparked an investigation of former vice chairman Thomas Coughlin by bringing suspicious expense reports to the attention of superiors, has asked U.S, prosecutors to investigate whether Wal-Mart violated federal statues protecting whistleblowers. The retailer dismissed Bowen on March 30, a week after ousting Coughlin from the board over allegations that he had fraudulently spent as much as $500,000 in company funds. Bowen will also ask Wal-Mart’s board to review the matter, said his lawyer Steve Kardell, of Dallas-based Clouse Dunn Hirsch LLP. Kardell said Wal-Mart attorneys told Bowen he was fired for failing to mention obtaining a cell phone for Tim Coughlin, Thomas Coughlin’s brother, who works in Wal-Mart’s corporate compliance office. Wal-Mart did not immediately return a call for comment. Bowen, has been interviewed by the FBI as part of a grand jury investigation of Thomas Coughlin.
REWEAVING COTTON: Fiber-promotions organization Cotton Inc. this week made a pair of management changes following the retirement of Dean Pelczar, who was senior director of global product marketing. Mike Tyndall, 55, was promoted to senior director of Latin America and Europe, and Mark Kametches, 39, was named associate director for North American marketing. They both report to Dean Turner, senior vice president of global product marketing. Tyndall last served as senior director of global product marketing, while Kametches had been manager of Americas mill marketing. Pelczar, 61, had spent more than 25 years with the Cary, N.C.-based company.
SALES FALL: Groupe Galeries Lafayette on Wednesday said first-quarter revenues declined 1.4 percent to 1.23 billion euros, or $1.61 billion at average exchange, due to soft spending at home in France. The retailer said sales declined 2.3 percent at its core Galeries Lafayette department stores. But it said sales at its flagship Boulevard Haussmann unit climbed 2.7 percent, boosted by the opening of a new children’s department. In separate news, the firm announced the departure of the members of the Meyer family from the board. It said that Ginette Moulin would replace Leone Noelle Meyer as chairman of the supervisory board. In March, the Moulin family teamed up with French bank BNP Paribas to buy out the 29.5 percent share held by the Meyers.