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Walmart says chief of health to leave

Walmart Inc.’s health and wellness chief, who led several health care initiatives, is leaving the company, Walmart confirmed Friday.

Sean Slovenski, president of Walmart U.S. health and wellness, and John Furner, chief executive of Walmart U.S., have discussed the move for several weeks, Furner said in a memo to staff. Furner did not indicate when Slovenski would exit.

More information about Slovenski’s replacement will be released in the coming weeks, Furner said.

Since joining the Bentonville-based retailer on Aug. 1, 2018, Furner said, Slovenski has helped create an organization within Walmart that developed its Walmart Health centers.

Furner said Slovenski’s team also led the deployment this year of drive-thru covid-19 testing sites at Walmart store parking lots across the country.

“We will miss Sean, but we are excited to continue building and expanding on what he created at Walmart,” Furner said.

— Serenah McKay

2001 Walmart suit taken up by Netflix

Netflix has given the green light to produce a miniseries based on the landmark 2001 class-action lawsuit in which about 1.5 million women accused Walmart Inc. of sex discrimination.

The digital streaming service has not announced a release date for the miniseries, titled “Kings of America.”

Netflix said in a news release that the show follows “three powerful women whose lives were inextricably intertwined with the world’s largest company: a Walmart heiress, a maverick executive, and a longtime Walmart saleswoman and preacher who dared to fight against the retail giant in the biggest class-action lawsuit in U.S. history.”

Betty Dukes, who died in 2017, was a greeter at a Walmart store in California when she and five other employees sued the Bentonville-based retailer in 2001. They claimed they were paid less than male colleagues, who also received more promotions. The U.S. Supreme Court ended the case in 2011 by dissolving the certified class.

Walmart had argued that it had a strong nondiscriminatory policy in place well before the suit was filed. In a brief statement Thursday, Walmart said, “We are proud of the progress we’ve made as a company on treating all of our associates with respect.”

Actress Amy Adams will star in an as-yet-determined role. Journalist Jess Kimball Leslie will write the miniseries.

— Serenah McKay

All Arkansas Index stocks end higher

The Arkansas Index, a price-weighted index that tracks the largest public companies based in the state, closed Friday at 432.42, up 8.35.

All stocks in the index rose in its best day of trading since July 21.

The index was developed by Bloomberg News and the Democrat-Gazette with a base value of 100 as of Dec. 30, 1997.

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