The US Supreme Court has thrown out a major employment discrimination class-action suit against Walmart that sought billions of dollars on behalf of about 1.5 million female workers. It signalled it wanted job bias disputes handled in the workplace and not the courts. The court did not decide whether Walmart had discriminated against women, only that it could not proceed as a class.

Separately, Walmart’s chief executive in Japan Toru Noda has resigned suddenly, just over a year after he took up the post. He is replaced by Steve Dacus, formerly chief operating officer of Walmart Japan and Seiyu. It follows the resignations of three senior executives at its China business in the past month.