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China says company leadership adjustment "normal"

(Xinhua)

14:00, October 19, 2011

BEIJING, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- The Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said Wednesday it was a normal act for foreign firms to adjust company leadership, declining to comment on a recent decision by Wal-Mart Inc. to replace a top China executive after a pork scandal.

"I think the adjustment and changes in the leadership of multinational companies are very normal," said MOC spokesman Shen Danyang at a press conference.

"We don't comment on company staff adjustments," Shen said.

U.S. retailing giant Wal-Mart was forced to temporarily shut down 13 stores in the southwest city of Chongqing for 15 days last week for overhaul. The company was accused of fraudulently selling ordinary pork as organic pork.

On Monday, the company said Ed Chan, who served as president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Wal-Mart's Chinese business for almost five years, was leaving the company "for personal reasons."

Clara Wong, senior vice president of the human resources department of Wal-Mart's China operations, resigned as well, according to a company statement.

Wal-Mart opened its first Chinese store in Shenzhen in 1996 and now has 353 outlets in 130 cities across the country, creating nearly 100,000 jobs, the company said.

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