Wal-Mart has announced that its Chinese president and chief executive officer, Chen Yaochang, has resigned.
Scott Price, president and chief executive officer for Wal-Mart Asia, will temporarily fill Chen's role.
According to Wal-Mart, Chen's resignation is because of personal reasons. However, there are rumors online stating it may be related to the fraud scandal in Wal-Mart's stores in Chongqing. Prior to this, Wal-Mart's 13 stores in Chongqing were involved in selling ordinary pork as organic pork and fined CNY2.96 million by the local industry and commerce department. These stores were shut for 15 days and 37 people were arrested. Since its entry into Chongqing, Wal-Mart has been punished 21 times and this is the ninth time since the beginning of 2011.
Sean Clarke, chief financial officer of Wal-Mart Canada, will reportedly be the new chief operating officer for Wal-Mart China. Clarke started his retail career at ASDA in U.K. in 1996. He previously worked as Wal-Mart's chief financial officer in Japan, Germany, and Canada.
Wal-Mart entered the Chinese market in 1996 and it opened its first Chinese store and Sam's Club in Shenzhen. Since then, the international retail giant has developed various models in China, including shopping squares, Sam's Clubs, and community stores. By October 1, 2011, it had been operating 353 stores in 130 cities in China, creating nearly 100,000 jobs for the local markets.