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Wal-Mart's U.S. administrative chief to step down

People pull loaded shopping carts at a Walmart store, on Thanksgiving day in North Bergan, New Jersey November 22, 2012. REUTERS/Eric Thayer
People pull loaded shopping carts at a Walmart store, on Thanksgiving day in North Bergan, New Jersey November 22, 2012. REUTERS/Eric Thayer

(Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc's U.S. Chief Administrative Officer Tom Mars will step down in March after more than a decade with the company, in which he also served as general counsel.

Wal-Mart on Thursday confirmed a report from the Wall Street Journal on Mars' plan to step down on March 13. The world's largest retailer declined to provide more details, saying it does not comment on personnel matters.

As the retailer's general counsel from 2002 to 2009, Mars was involved in an investigation into bribery allegations regarding a Wal-Mart store built near the Mexican pyramids, according to company emails released in January by members of Congress.

The full emails, mentioned in the New York Times' April report on the matter, demonstrate the extent to which senior Wal-Mart lawyers briefed current Chief Executive Mike Duke and other top executives about the Mexican allegations in 2005.

One email from Mars in October 2005, for example, provided Duke with a memo summarizing the allegations with a note saying: "You'll want to read this. I'm available to discuss next steps."

Separately, U.S. shopping center operator Kimco Realty Corp said on Wednesday that it had received a subpoena from the Securities and Exchange Commission over an investigation involving Wal-Mart Stores and possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

(Reporting by Sakthi Prasad in Bangalore, additional reporting by Jessica Wohl in Chicago; Editing by Stephen Coates and Nick Zieminski)

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