After 12 years, Wal-Mart CEO David Glass has stepped down, to be replaced by Lee Scott, who has been the company’s COO for the past year. The 64 year old Glass said he hopes to devote more time to baseball. Wall Street analysts who like to write about such things, say that Wal-Mart “won’t miss a beat” because of this transition. If there is some bit of news in this announcement, it fails to make an impression. After all, do we really care what these multi-millionaires do? Now that Mr. Glass has more leisure time on his hands, he might like to visit some of the communities that fought tooth and nail to keep his company out, and see first hand what it is that Americans are trying to protect from sprawl.
When I think of all the letters from angry communities that have been directed at David Glass over the past 12 years, I realize that it is Glass who presided over the “superstore” phase of Wal-Mart’s growth, which has been the most aggressive, destructive period in the company’s history. I wonder if all those letters telling Wal-Mart to get out of town will ever find their way into the Sam Walton museum in Bentonville? Or maybe they’ve been shredded and used for package filler for wal-mart.com. “At the end of the day,” Glass once said, “it’s the consumer’s vote that counts.” We can make our vote count by not shopping at Wal-Mart!