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    Wal-Mart EVP of General Merchandise to Retire

    BENTONVILLE, Ark. - Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announced on Friday that the head of general merchandise for its U.S. discount stores planned to retire, and would leave the company as of April 30, 2004.

    BENTONVILLE, Ark. - Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announced on Friday that the head of general merchandise for its U.S. discount stores planned to retire, and would leave the company as of April 30, 2004, according to a Reuters report.

    Don Harris, 46, said in a statement that he wanted to spend more time with his family. He had worked at Wal-Mart for 23 years, and held his current position since 2001.

    A Wal-Mart spokeswoman declined to comment further to Reuters on Harris's reasons for retiring.

    Two current executives will share merchandising responsibility for the Wal-Mart Stores division, according to the Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer.

    Doug Degn, 46, executive v.p. of food merchandising, will take on other categories including toys, electronics, sporting goods, lawn and garden, and entertainment products.

    Claire Watts, 43, senior v.p. of product development, was promoted to executive v.p. of merchandising, and will take over Wal-Mart's apparel and home furnishing merchandise programs.

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