retail news in context, analysis with attitude

As it gets hammered on a number of fronts, Walmart said yesterday that it has hired a new chief publicist - Dan Bartlett, a former top advisor to President George W. Bush, who will take on the role of executive vice president of corporate affairs.

Bartlett most recently has been CEO of the United States division of Hill&Knowlton Strategies. He is succeeding Leslie Dach, the former Clinton White House aide who has been serving as Walmart's chief image-maker.

In addition to ongoing questions raised about its labor policies, Walmart also is dealing with a number of federal probes (as well as an internal investigation) into allegations that it has been bribing foreign officials in Mexico, China, India and Brazil to grease the wheels of growth there. It also is dealing with the collateral damage from problems in foreign countries where factories churning out low-cost goods have been found to be unsafe. And, the company recently announced quarterly earnings that were disappointing.
KC's View:
I hope it pays well. Because Bartlett is likely to be driving down nine miles of bad road in coming months.