Walmart's image man on the company's PR challenges

Walmart is losing its image man. Leslie Dach, executive vice president of corporate affairs at Walmart, will be stepping down this summer after seven years on the job.

Walmart is losing its image man. Leslie Dach, executive vice president of corporate affairs at Walmart, will be stepping down this summer after seven years on the job.

As the biggest private employer in America, Walmart has the ability to have a significant impact -- good and bad -- in the lives of workers and shoppers in the U.S. and abroad. Dach, who many credit with improving the company's public appearance, sees this as the promise of Walmart. But, he says his work is not just about making the company look good.

"It's made us a stronger business and it's helped us save money," Dach says, noting Walmart's sustainability efforts. "Through that we can save over a billion dollars in our energy bills, and we can return that in lower prices to our customer."

With controversy over its labor practices and bribery allegations in Mexico, Walmart has some serious public relations challenges. Dach says his biggest is cynicism.

"People are looking for a bad motive, they believe that we do these things simply for public relations," Dach says, adding that expectations have been another issue. "As the company got bigger, it didn't always grasp that people had bigger expectations of it."

To hear more about Dach's work at Walmart, click on the audio player above.

 

About the author

Jeremy Hobson is host of Marketplace Morning Report, where he looks at business news from a global perspective to prepare listeners for the day ahead.

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