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Head of Wal-Mart's 'War Room' Joins Its Executive Team

Edelman's Leslie Dach Will Oversee Communications, Government Relations

By Published on .

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- After leading Wal-Mart Stores' "war room" political-style campaign to defend the retail chain's corporate image, Edelman's Leslie Dach is joining the company's executive team.
Leslie Dach becomes Wal-Mart's exec VP-corporate affairs and government relations effective in late August.
Leslie Dach becomes Wal-Mart's exec VP-corporate affairs and government relations effective in late August.

Mr. Dach, who also has extensive political experience with the Democratic National Committee and was an adviser to Sen. John Kerry and former President Bill Clinton, becomes Wal-Mart's exec VP-corporate affairs and government relations effective late August. He will oversee the company's communications and government relations, as well as the Wal-Mart Foundation.

'Path of change'
"Over the past year, I've seen firsthand Wal-Mart's transformation on sustainability and health care and its record on economic opportunity and job creation," Mr. Dach said in a statement. "The changes are real and substantial steps for the business. I look forward to working with Wal-Mart and its senior management to continue on its path of change."

Mr. Dach, 52, is a 17-year veteran of PR giant Edelman. This past year he has led a team of consultants managing Wal-Mart's public affairs to reshape its corporate image after attacks from union-backed groups such as WakeUpWalMart.com and Wal-Mart Watch.

As vice chairman for Edelman, Mr. Dach managed the company's Washington office, its global public affairs, crisis and technology practices, and its research and advertising companies. Following his departure, Rob Rehg has been appointed president of Edelman's Washington office and Michael Deaver chairman of the office.

In his new position at Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, Mr. Dach will supervise lobbyists and spokespeople on the company's executive committee. He replaces Jay Allen, who was a senior VP, Wal-Mart Stores, but is now retired.

'New perspective'
"Leslie has been a part of our transformation over the last year," said H. Lee Scott Jr., president-CEO of Wal-Mart Stores. "He brings new perspective, diverse talents and tremendous expertise to his role as a member of our strategic and executive teams."

Mr. Dach brings with him a varied political career, having served as senior adviser for communication for the Democratic National Committee and the Kerry for President campaign in 2004, as well as an adviser to the Clinton administration. He is a lobbyist for the National Audubon Society and the Environmental Defense Fund, and has served as special assistant to the chairman of the Senate agriculture committee.
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