US retail giant Wal-Mart has announced that Mike Duke, currently head of its international businesses, will replace Lee Scott as president and CEO.

Duke will take the helm at the world's largest retailer on 1 February next year. He has also been appointed to join the company's board, effective immediately.

Scott will continue serving as chairman of the executive committee of the board, the company said in a statement today (21 November).

"Mike Duke is a highly-respected executive both domestically and internationally, with broad experience throughout the company, having successfully led Wal-Mart's logistics division, US operations, and international operations,"said Rob Walton, Wal-Mart chairman. "He understands retail and appreciates the complex global environment in which we operate."

Wal-Mart also announced the promotion of Eduardo Castro-Wright to vice chairman of the company, effective immediately.

Castro-Wright is currently president and CEO of Wal-Mart US. In addition to his existing responsibilities, he will assume management responsibility for the company's global procurement operation.

Commenting on the changes, Walton said: "This management change occurs at a time of strength and momentum for Wal-Mart. Our overall management team has never been stronger."

He continued: "We are confident that the strategy we have in place is the right one for future success and Mike has been actively involved in developing and executing this strategy. We are also pleased that our succession and management development process continues to develop leaders internally."