Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. announced that its board of directors elected company veteran Doug McMillon, 47, to succeed Mike Duke, 63, as president and chief executive officer, effective Feb. 1, 2014. McMillon also was elected to the company’s board of directors, effective immediately.
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Tyson Foods closed its fiscal year on a strong note as it posted record sales and earnings, while announcing several leadership changes in its management structure. The Springdale-based meat company recorded fourth-quarter earnings of $261 million on sales of $8.89 billion. One year ago, Tyson Foods posted net income of $185 million on revenue of $8.32 billion.
The three Pulaski County school districts will receive three years’ worth of desegregation payments, plus another year of equal payments for academic facilities only, under an agreement reached between Attorney General Dustin McDaniel’s office and the school districts, McDaniel told a legislative panel Thursday. McDaniel told the Joint Subcommittee on Desegregation Litigation Oversight that the agreement has not been finalized. However, he did express confidence that the districts’ school boards would agree to the deal.
A challenge to Big River Steel’s air quality permit by Nucor Steel will delay or could trip up the $1.1 billion superproject planned for northeastern Arkansas, but state officials expressed confidence that the steel mill will go forward.
Metropolitan National Bank announced a third quarter profit of $1.59 million. For the first three quarters of 2013, the Little Rock-based bank has posted $3.53 million in net income. In September, Metropolitan was acquired by Pine Bluff-based Simmons First for $53.6 million. Metropolitan’s parent company, Rogers Bancshares, had filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this year following the death of its principal owner Doyle Rogers. The merger is expected to close at the end of December 2013 and the two banks will consolidate during the first quarter of 2014.
The Arkansas Poll, conducted by the University of Arkansas, shows voter attitudes are more pessimistic than a year ago. When asked if the economy was heading in the right direction or wrong direction, 63 percent of voters said it was heading in the right direction versus 20 percent who indicated the economy was off-track. Last year, 73 percent of voters said the economy was heading in the right direction, while 17 percent said it was heading in the wrong direction. The poll was conducted during the government shutdown.
Landing at the Conway airport will soon take on a new meaning as Alabama-based Jim Wilson and Associates and the Conway Development Corp. announced a new $90 million upscale regional shopping center, Central Landing. On Thursday, Will Wilson, CEO of Jim Wilson and Associates, announced the 150-acre project that will take the soon-to-be-decommissioned airport property and redevelop it to include restaurant, retail, medical, office and multi-family use spaces. Wilson also said that plans could include two hotels and space available for economic development projects being recruited to Conway.
The federal government shutdown had a major impact on Arkansas’ work force. From the Department of Human Services to the Department of Health, hundreds of state workers were furloughed as federal funding was put on hold. About 350 Little Rock Air Force Base civilians were placed on furlough, while the Arkansas National Guard halted certain operations impacting up to 10,000 guard members.