Walmart has unveiled plans to streamline is executive board in an effort to “maximise effectiveness” of its senior leadership team.

The US retail giant said the “ordinary-course retirements” of four current board members will see the board of directors trimmed from 15 members to 12.

Current board members Aida Alvarez, Roger Corbett, Mike Duke and Jim Walton will not stand for re-election at Walmart’s AGM, which takes place in June.

The executive committee has only nominated Walton’s son Steuart Walton for election to the board in their place.

Alvarez and Corbett – the former boss of Woolworths in Australia – will both rotate off the board having completed 10 years of service, in keeping with Walmart’s corporate governance guidelines.

Duke, who served as Walmart boss between 2009 and 2014, will also step down, while the retailer said Jim Walton’s departure marks a “leadership transition to the next generation of Walton family representation”.

Independent influence

Following the proposed changes, the Walmart board will maintain its current independent majority of 66%.

Over the past four years, Asda owner Walmart has placed a focus on driving technology, appointing external members including Yahoo president and chief executive Marissa Mayer and Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom to its board.

The retailer said the group of 12 nominees, which also includes boss Doug McMillon, represented “an effective mix of deep company knowledge and fresh perspectives”.

Walmart chairman Greg Penner said: “With these retirements, we view this as a time to make our board more nimble, while maintaining its independence and further aligning on Walmart’s strategic priorities.

“Our board has the right skills and expertise to support the company’s strategy. We continue to believe that the value, quality and diversity of our directors are some of Walmart’s greatest strategic assets.”

Lead independent director James Cash Jnr added: “The changes we are making are designed to maximise our effectiveness as we adapt to ever-evolving customer requirements.

“We believe that board refreshment and succession planning are critical and demonstrate good corporate governance practices, but also and most importantly, support our mission to broaden and improve how we are serving customers through both stores and ecommerce.”