CEO of Wal-Mart Indian joint venture leaves

CEO of Wal-Mart Indian joint venture leaves post after 6 years at helm, no reason cited

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- The CEO of Wal-Mart Stores' Indian joint venture has left his post after six years at the helm.

The world's biggest retailer did not give any reason in a statement Wednesday as it disclosed that Raj Jain "is no longer with the company."

The company named Ramnik Narsey, senior vice president for Walmart International, as interim head for Bharti Walmart, a joint venture with India's Bharti Enterprises. His appointment is effective immediately.

Narsey joined Wal-Mart Stores Inc. last month. He previously served as chairman and CEO of Woolworths India.

Wal-Mart has been trying to expand in India, a giant market that is relatively untapped by foreign retailers. But the Bentonville, Ark., company has hit some bumps along the way.

In November it suspended several workers at Bharti Walmart as part of an internal corruption investigation. At the time Bharti Walmart said that it suspended "a few associates" and was "committed to conducting a complete and thorough investigation."

Wal-Mart operates 20 retail locations and 20 wholesale shops in India through its joint venture, according to its website.

"We remain optimistic about our business in India and look forward to our future in India under Ramnik's leadership." Scott Price, president and CEO of Walmart Asia, said in the statement.

Wal-Mart shares rose 38 cents to $74.75 in morning trading. They are near the high end of their 52-week range of $67.37 to $79.96.

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