Rob Walton

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Rob Walton

Quick facts

Family: Oldest child of Sam and Helen Walton. Wife Melani Walton, married 2005. (Previously married to Patricia Rawlings Walton, divorced in late 1970s, and Carolyn Funk Walton, divorced in 2000.) Three children: Carrie Walton Penner, Ben, and Sam.

Age: 69 (born October 1944)

Residence: Paradise Valley, AZ

Refusal to address concerns of Walmart associates

Members of the Organization United for Respect at Walmart (OUR Walmart) and their allies have repeatedly reached out to Rob Walton for him to listen to their concerns. Mr. Walton has repeatedly ignored these requests. (See here for a detailed list of efforts by Walmart associates to initiate a dialogue with Rob Walton.)

Shareholders voicing concerns about Walton’s leadership at Walmart

Walmart shareholders have expressed concern about Walton’s leadership at the company. At Walmart’s 2013 shareholder meeting, more than 25 percent of non-Walton family shareholders voted against re-electing Rob Walton as chairman of the company’s Board of Directors. Those voting no included the New York City Pension Funds and CalSTRS, both of which also voted against Walton in 2012, and the State of Wisconsin Investment Board. Proxy adviser ISS recommended voting against Walton’s re-election, and CalPERS, the nation’s largest pension fund, withheld its vote “due to concerns surrounding the Board’s oversight of operational and reputational risk.”

In addition, 36 percent of non-Walton family shareholders supported a shareholder resolution calling for the chair of Walmart’s Board of Directors to be an independent director. Rob Walton succeeded his father as chairman of the company following Sam Walton’s death in 1992.


Estimated net worth: $34.2 billion (as of March 2014)

  • Walton has direct or shared ownership of 49% of outstanding Walmart shares, nearly all of which is through his interest in Walton Enterprises, the family holding company he manages with his siblings Alice, Jim, and John (John’s estate). Walton is also on the company’s payroll: According to the company’s April 2013 proxy statement, Walton’s annual salary as chairman of the board is $235,000; the company also paid health insurance premiums and 401(k) contributions for him.
  • Madrone Capital Partners is an investment firm “affiliated with S. Robson Walton and other family members,” managed by Rob Walton’s son-in-law Greg Penner. Madrone’s investments include a $1 billion investment in the Hyatt Hotels Corporation, a $33 million investment in the failed search engine Cuil, and a stake in the bankrupt solar energy company Solyndra, which was raided by the FBI in September 2011.
  • Walton shares 96% ownership of the family’s Arvest Bank (Jim Walton, CEO) with Jim Walton and John Walton’s estate[1]; as of March 2013, the bank’s assets totaled approximately $14.3 billion.

Walton has been known to fly a Falcon jet that he pilots himself. He also races vintage sports cars. As of 2004, he owned a 1970 Lotus, a Cobra, and a Scarab, and, along with one of his sons, participated in the Monterey Historic Automobile Races.[2] Walton reportedly commissioned a custom gold Ferrari in 2009.

Educational and professional background


Attended College of Wooster. BS, Business Administration, University of Arkansas, 1966; JD, Columbia University School of Law, 1969.

Professional life

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

Walton began working for his father’s company in 1969 and has held roles as senior vice president, secretary and general counsel, and vice chairman. He has been a member of the Walmart board since 1978 and was named chairman of the Walmart board the day after his father’s death in April 1992. He currently serves on the Executive Committee and the Global Compensation Committee of the board.

Walton encouraged his father to expand Walmart internationally. He is also the only one of his siblings to hold a senior executive role in the company. In a 2004 Fortune magazine profile of the Walton family, then-CEO Lee Scott said that Walton is not particularly drawn to the merchandising-related aspects of the company and is more interested in the real estate and legal sides of Walmart.[3]

Connor & Winters, Tulsa, OK

During Walton’s short tenure at Connor & Winters, Walmart was his client. He was involved in the creation of Walton Enterprises and in Walmart’s 1970 IPO.[4]

Political giving

Federal giving

Since the 2004 federal election cycle began, Rob Walton has given nearly $217,000 in federal political contributions. Of that total, about 10 percent went to Wal-Mart Stores or Arvest Bank Group; of the remaining amount, 88% went to Republicans.

Examples of state-level giving

  • California: In 2005, Arizona resident Rob Walton donated $250,000 to “Yes on 77,” a group formed in support of California’s Proposition 77. Had it not been defeated by California voters, Proposition 77 would have given authority to redraw congressional and legislative districts to three retired judges, shifting that power from the Democrat-controlled General Assembly and strengthening the Republican governor’s hand.[5]

Community connections

  • Walton Family Foundation: Board of Directors
  • Conservation International
  • Arizona State University Global Institute of Sustainability: Co-Chair, Board of Trustees for Sustainability
  • College of Wooster: Emeritus Life Trustee, 2001–present ;  Board of Trustees, 1986-2001
  • Dickinson State University (Dickinson, ND): The Walton Family Foundation gave DSU a $1 million donation in 2008 at the recommendation of Rob and Melani Walton. Melani Walton graduated from DSU.
  • EFW Partners: Advisor
  • University of Arkansas: Alum and major donor. In 2002, the Walton family gave the university $300 million, in the largest-ever donation to an American public university.
  • Southern Bancorp: In 1986, Walton was one of the founding directors of Southern Bancorp, a community development bank primarily focusing on rural communities. Other founding members included Hillary Clinton, then the First Lady of Arkansas, and Mack McLarty.
  • Omicron Delta Kappa: Distinguished Alumni, Leader in Business



[1] Wal-Mart primer from former company spokesman,” Northwestern Financial Review, Vol. 194, No. 5, 3/1/2009-3/14/2009

[2] “The Waltons: Inside America’s Richest Family,” Andy Serwer, Fortune Magazine, November 15, 2004.

[3] “The Waltons: Inside America’s Richest Family,” Andy Serwer, Fortune Magazine, November 15, 2004.

[4] “The Waltons: Inside America’s Richest Family,” Andy Serwer, Fortune Magazine, November 15, 2004.

[5] Jim Hopkins, “Wal-Mart, Walton family support Schwarzenegger agenda with $1M”, USA Today, 31 October 2005.


  1. christopher says:

    will not hire me back to over night and they keeep take a way help over night work works to death 4711 can help ??

  2. christopher says:

    is part time it that 32 hours and not 40
    they work all kind of dum hour so can not work any where ecss
    when it slow then they cut back on hours

  3. I saw a segment on RT television that indicated that surveyed Americans were unimpressed with the Bangladesh factory tragedy (and often ignorant of it), and are more interested in prices than in safety.
    I don’t know where thy get their information – It can’t be entirely baseless – and I’m appalled.
    I want to go on record as supporting the efforts of some retailers to ensure the safety of the work environments of their suppliers.
    It is frequently necessary to buy articles made in third-world countries, because domestic products are often no longer available in local stores. The costs are unfairly balanced in “favor” of sweat shop manufacture – a risk the poor must take in order to feed themselves. This is slavery, a practice outlawed in our country because we perceive it to be immoral. Isn’t it hypocrisy to benefit from that immorality done elsewhere?
    I urge you, if you haven’t already done so, to join with others who are trying to put financial pressure on foreign manufacturers to improve safety conditions in their factories, and if that means higher prices, so be it.
    I believe it would be in the best interest of business at home as well.

  4. Michael Kuhlman says:

    It is really unfortunate that a company that built its reputation on “Made in America” for Americans treats its employees like share croppers. Like McDonald’s, I guess they suggest that when you get a job there it is considered a newbie job with no hope of a future. When I look around our local Walmart, I see many middle aged and senior citizens working at the store, it just goes to show you how Walmart gets away with age discrimination and underpaying employees in the name of prosperity. “At least they have a job” is the philosophy. “Thank God for Walmart” or else we the middle class would not be working. The Board of Directors for Walmart are not ashamed that many of their employees live in poverty. Like McDonald’s they should advise their employees of the value of savings like the Walton Family members who are Forbes richest American top 10 list year after year.

  5. elena says:

    I will suggest you to see walmart the high cost of low prices .Its unbelivable that these people are so greedy. The ceo Lee scott the whole walton family are horrible along with all those who make the bucks out of exploiting their employess in this country and around the world. There is a just God and a place for people like them….walmart just brought inflation to our country and poverty. ..for the walton family you really have no heart and please dont call yourselves christians.

  6. Ray Wolfe says:

    Walmart moneycard is the biggest peice of crap. It worked fine until someone in the leadership decided to cancel it when I had close to $1000.00 on it and was out of state. I couldn’t even use it to fill up with gas. Yeah, it is a rip off. Then Walmart sent me another one and tranferred the funds only to cancel it because they claimed I had three cards. They closed the first one without justification and then after the funds was transferred they closed the second one. (The sales pitch should actually read — Walmart moneycard — “A card you cannot depend on”! Futhermore, I apparently am going to have to sue them in court to get my deposit back on these cards! If other people has had this kind of non-sense with their walmart moneycards then contact me and maybe we can get a class-action suit against this corruption!

  7. Melissa Hanrion says:

    My local store Union Ave in Tacoma Wa. REFUSES TO RETURN an unopened piece of merchandise for cash. The value of the product after tax is less than 10 Dollars… I explained I needed the cash to enable myself to travel to see family for thanksgiving.. She said because I didn’t have a receipt she had to put it on a gift card. The policy states that they can return products without a receipt up to 25$ Why are they treating me different and MAKING ME miss out on a family get together. I am a single mom of three ten dollars really counts, the world seems to be over if you lose a twenty dollar bill, and my budget is thrown off. I just don’t understand this C>F>S Shelly being so rude to me about this problem. like it was not a problem, she was very unethical and I know my ethics for I am in the process of obtaining my business degree. Also I have applied to Wal-Mart almost every year and have not once had a call back or interview? What is with this. I have personally probably spent over 20,000 in Wal-Mart in my life. I do not like this treatment from the manager. Thanksgiving only happens once a year, and I have NOT seen my family in more than a year. THis is absurd PLease help! Melissa or

  8. Paula Wyatt says:

    I am now a former employee. I feel as though I was wrongfully terminated! I was out of work due to my mother almost losing her life. I know that Sam Walton built this company based on family beliefs and I don’t think I have done anything wrong. I was given permission to go and take care of my mother and that I had permission to do what was necessary to do what I had to do to take care of her. I had no idea that I would lose my job because of it. I need to talk to someone and I would love to talk to Mr. Rob Walton if anyway possible. You can contact me at 478-278-9163. I really need to talk to someone to find some answers.

  9. Steve Menicucci says:

    Rob Walton epitomizes the “I am entitled to everything” 1% attitude. This guy is so out of touch with reality outside of his own self-centered world. I hope that he is voted out as Wal Mart Chairman at the next Wal Mart Board meeting. I will continue to oppose everything that Wal Mart is about until his likes are removed from governing power of this terrible corporation!

  10. billdeserthills says:

    Paula Wyatt do you have a Wage & Labor Board where you reside? You cannot be fired without at least one written and two verbal warnings (in my area) and these would require your signature. You should open a case against these bully’s. They are not too large to feel pain go to and fight

  11. Arsteyna says:

    Scew Waa-Mart!

  12. Arsteyna says:

    Wal-Mart is out no more let flush down the sewer!

  13. Latoya says:

    It is really a great and helpful piece of info.

    I am satisfied that you simply shared this useful information with
    us. Please keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

  14. kirk says:

    so they are supposed to pay you more than your job title entitles you to? The same job at target pays the same thing and their policies are the same this website seems more like an eat the rich agenda

  15. barabajagal says:

    Rob Walton only contributes to republican politicians and propositions. If he believes that is his best interest, I believe it would be in the best interest of the 99% to vote otherwise.

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Legal Notice: National Labor Relations Board notice regarding settlement in 16-CB-105773. Read notice here,.(Un aviso de Junta Nacional de Relaciones del Trabajo en 16-CB-105773. Lee aviso aqui). UFCW and OUR Walmart have the purpose of helping Walmart employees as individuals or groups in their dealings with Walmart over labor rights and standards and their efforts to have Walmart publicly commit to adhere to labor rights and standards. UFCW and OUR Walmart have no intent to have Walmart recognize or bargain with UFCW or OUR Walmart as the representative of its employees. Courts have enjoined non-Associate UFCW and OUR Walmart agents from entering any Walmart property, except to shop, in Arkansas (read order), Florida (read order), Texas (read order), Colorado (read order), Ohio (read order), and Maryland (read order); and in California from entering inside stores (read order).