Wal-Mart China CEO Ed Chans departure has nothing to do with the "green pork" scandal, according to the company

Wal-Mart China CEO Ed Chan's departure has nothing to do with the "green pork" scandal, according to the company

The head of Wal-Mart Stores' business in China is leaving the company as it deals with a pricing probe that has led to stores being closed and staff arrested.

Wal-Mart said today (17 October) that Ed Chan, president and CEO of its Chinese division, resigned for "personal reasons".

A spokesperson insisted Chan, who has been in the role for nearly five years, did not quit due to the pricing scandal, which has seen police investigate claims that pork on sale at the retailer's stores in Chongqing was re-labelled as organic pork.

All 13 of Wal-Mart's stores in the city have been closed and 25 staff arrested as a result of the probe. The company has also been fined CNY2.69m (US$458,000).

The Chongqing Administration of Industry and Commerce pointed out that Wal-Mart has been punished by the local government 21 times since the company entered the city in 2006.

Scott Price, president and CEO of Wal-Mart's business in Asia, will replace Chan on an interim basis.

Wal-Mart also confirmed that a second executive has left its Chinese division. Clara Wong, senior vice president for people of Wal-Mart China, also quit for personal reasons, but the spokesperson said she made her decision two weeks ago, before the pork scandal emerged.
Chan and Wong are just the latest executives to leave Wal-Mart's Chinese operations.

In May, COO Rob Cissell and CFO Roland Lawrence decided to leave the business and a month later Shawn Gray, vice president of Wal-Mart's hypermarket operations, also handed in his notice. All three left for "personal reasons to explore other opportunities", according to the company, which declined to comment further on the exact reasons for their departures.

Wal-Mart currently has 353 stores and nearly 100,000 staff in China.