Gus Whitcomb

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Gus Whitcomb is a communications / public relations executive for Wal-Mart Stores.

In April 2005, Whitcomb received an apparent demotion, from public relations director (his position since February 2004) to Dallas regional corporate affairs director. Wal-Mart spokesperson Mona Williams tols PR Week that Whitcomb's move was part of an effort "to put corporate communications people in key cities and areas of the country." In his new position, Whitcomb reports to vice-president of field corporate affairs Carol Schumacher (he previously reported to vice-president of corporate communications Mona Williams). [1]

In June 2005 Williams emailed SourceWatch to stress that Whitcomb's shift, rather than being a demotion, was "a lateral move." "Within Wal-Mart PR, both jobs are the exact same level and salary band. One does only media, but at a national level. The other does all of the broader Corporate Affairs functions -- media, government relations, general reputation management -- but in a smaller geographic area," she wrote.

Whitcomb formerly worked for American Airlines. His move to Wal-Mart followed controversy over labor conditions at the giant retailer's stores. When Whitcomb was hired by Wal-Mart in early 2004, Williams said he would be responsible for "message development, and ensuring Wal-Mart's voice is heard in press coverage of our ongoing, high-profile issues, many of which relate to employment."

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