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Morgan Lewis Partner Joins Walmart as Ethics, Compliance Chief

Aug. 18, 2021, 6:32 PM

Walmart Inc. said Wednesday it hired veteran white-collar enforcement expert Matthew Miner as global chief ethics and compliance officer.

Miner joins Walmart from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, where he led the firm’s white-collar litigation and government investigations practice in Washington. Miner had returned to the firm’s partnership in January 2020 after spending nearly two years as a deputy assistant attorney general in the Justice Department’s criminal division.

In his new role at Walmart, he reports to former Justice Department colleague Rachel Brand, who now serves as an executive vice president of global governance, chief legal officer, and corporate secretary for the Bentonville, Ark.-based retail giant.

Walmart, whose founding family recently hired a former Cravath, Swaine & Moore tax partner to help manage their business affairs, is the largest private employer in the U.S. The company, which has watched its online sales slow after they soared during the coronavirus pandemic, is now requiring all of its headquarters and regional staffers to be vaccinated for Covid-19 by Oct. 4.

Brand, in a statement, called Miner a “nationally respected talent in the compliance field” and said his “expertise and experience with enhancing compliance programs make him the right leader to help take our program to the next level.”

During his time at the Justice Department, Miner managed the criminal division’s appellate and fraud sections. In the latter role he oversaw roughly 180 federal prosecutors handling fraud cases throughout the U.S.

Prior to Main Justice, Miner spent five years at Morgan Lewis, which hired him in 2012 as part of a team leaving White & Case, where he spent two years as a partner.

White & Case hired Miner in 2011 after he worked for more than five years as an attorney for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. Before that he served as a federal prosecutor in Alabama and litigation associate at Dechert in Philadelphia.

Miner said in a statement that he’s “thrilled” to continue his legal career at Walmart.

“Walmart has long been a leader and innovator in the business community and that same spirit carries over to the company’s dedication to compliance,” he said.

Miner replaces former ethics and compliance chief Daniel Trujillo, who left Walmart earlier this year. Walmart hired Trujillo in 2012 from oilfield services company Schlumberger Ltd. to lead its international compliance efforts. He took over Walmart’s top ethics and compliance role in 2019.

Walmart’s addition of Miner comes after several other lawyers, including some ethics and compliance employees, left the company.

In March, Tesla Inc. hired David Searle, Trujillo’s successor as Walmart’s international ethics and compliance chief, to be its compliance leader.

Bertrand “Lance” Lanciault III, chief ethics and compliance officer for Walmart’s U.S. e-commerce arm, left the company in February to become head of compliance and risk at Peloton Interactive Inc. Timothy Cheatham, another longtime Walmart lawyer, jumped to the general counsel role at The Michaels Cos. Inc.

Walmart has also made additions to its in-house team. It hired Kutak Rock partner Dale Brown as a managing counsel in June after adding Emily Buchanan last year as a director of ethics and conflicts of interest. The company also brought on a new international general counsel in Deborah Vaughn and recruited Alexander Passantino, the former co-chair of Seyfarth Shaw’s wage-and-hour practice.

Bloomberg Law reported last week on Walmart’s hire of Julie Kass, co-chair of the health law department at Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, to be lead counsel for its health care business. Kass reports to Jeanine Jiganti, hired by Walmart in 2019 as general counsel for the company’s health and wellness arm.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Baxter in New York at bbaxter@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Opfer at copfer@bloomberglaw.com;
John Hughes at jhughes@bloombergindustry.com

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