- Keynote : Mike Duke
- Location : The Global Events Center (416 NE 1st Street, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301)
- Time : March 12, 12:30PM to 5:00PM (Lunch at 12:00PM)
President and Chief Executive Officer of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Michael T. Duke is the retired president and chief executive officer of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
During his tenure as CEO, Mike helped Walmart navigate a period of economic, social and technological change while delivering strong financial results. He put in place the building blocks for the company’s future by making critical investments in technology and talent, including a strong management team. He also broadened Walmart’s commitment to lead on some of the most pressing social and environmental issues of our time. Mike has long been a champion for diversity and was especially engaged in the advancement of women, both inside and outside the company.
Mike joined Walmart in 1995, and over his time with the company led the logistics, distribution and administration divisions as well as Walmart U.S. In 2005, he was appointed to the vice chairman with responsibility for Walmart International.
Prior to joining Walmart, Mike had 23 years of experience in retailing with Federated Department Stores and May Department Stores.
Mike served on the Board of Directors of Walmart Stores, Inc, from 2008-2016. He has previously served on the board of directors of The Consumer Goods Forum, the executive committee of Business Roundtable, the board of advisors of the University of Arkansas, and the advisory board of the Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management in Beijing, China. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.
Mike currently serves as an Adjunct Professor and is on the Georgia Tech Foundation Board of Trustees. He is on the Board of Directors of Chick-Fil-A, and the Board of Directors of Bible Study Fellowship International. Mike also serves as an Operations Executive with the Carlyle Group.
Mike graduated from Georgia Tech with a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering. He and his wife, Susan, have two daughters and a son.
Honors and Awards
- Honorary Doctorate from Georgia Tech
- Honorary Doctorate from the University of Arkansas
- Named to National Academy of Engineering
- Georgia Tech Engineering Hall of Fame
- Committee Encouraging Philanthropy (CECP) – Force for Good Award
- Salute from the Chief of Staff of the Army – Outstanding Civilian Service Award
- Executives’ Club of Chicago – International Executive of the Year Award
- Grocery Manufacturers Association – Hall of Achievement Award
- Committee for Economic Development (CED) – Global Leadership Award
- Economic Arkansas – Excellence in Free Enterprise Award
Entrepreneur & Digital Enthusiast
My passion in life is creating successful businesses, empowering people & teams and building up the next generation – my beloved family. I grew up as the youngest of three brothers and we all learned how to do business from our father who built a successful construction company.
Kitesurfing is my personal field of training as it teaches me patience, humility and to never give up – on a lifelong journey of learning.
miaplaza inc. – Co-Founder
2004 – today
Founded the US-based company miaplaza Inc. together with an international founding team. miaplaza was located in Silicon Valley and built a social network focused on recommendations. Unfortunately, we lost the race against yelp, which is today publicly listed on NASDAQ. Nevertheless, miaplaza is still in operation but emerged into an education platform for children. With miaplaza we learned a lot of the spirit in “the Valley” and how to build an international internet platform.
isolutions AG – Co-Founder, CEO
2000 – today
Together with two partners I founded isolutions and we successfully became one of the leading partners in the Microsoft ecosystem in Switzerland. Today isolutions employs more than 120 fantastic people in Bern, Basel, Zurich and Barcelona and has the honor to serve a growing number of happy customers. Over the years we were able to create a unique company culture which is the foundation for future growth.
INTEC Software AG – Software Developer
1998 – 1999
I worked as a Software Developer on the Microsoft technology stack in a fast-growing company which was back then already well known in the Microsoft ecosystem. This experience eventually led to the founding of isolutions by the end of 1999.
BSc in IT – Bern University of Applied Sciences
1998 – 2003
Achieved a bachelor’s degree in IT on a part time program of the university. Founded isolutions in 1999 parallel to the study program and the ongoing internet “gold-rush”.
IT Apprenticeship @Swisscom
1994 – 1998
Attended the first swiss national IT apprenticeship program. Because IT in general and particularly the internet business was still very new, lots of self-paced learning was required. Graduated with award ranked second among all students.
“Chaim” – Co-Founder & Board Member
2014 – today
Chaim is a nonprofit organization with the purpose of helping poor and underprivileged people in Switzerland and around the world. It supports a variety of projects, always with the end in mind, that the provided help leads to a sustainable and long-lasting solution. For example we suuport a program which enables families in Nepal to run a sustainable familiy business with cattle, chicken or other types of animals.
2004 – 2013
Organizing and leading youth camps, events and happenings mainly for teenagers and youngsters together with a group of other volunteers.
- What did you learn from William Wilberforce that inspires you in the pursuit of your calling and why?
- Wilberforce often sighted Micah 6:8 “He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you. But to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?”
- What does that mean to you?
- What characteristics did Wilberforce possess that allowed him to successfully fight against many of society’s injustices?
- Reflecting on William Wilberforce’s life Chuck Colson once wrote, “As we come to understand the depth of our own Christian worldview, it forces us not into a life merely of contemplation, but to one of action. We cannot know God more without being moved to love others more—and to care passionately about justice, mercy, and truth.”
- Wilberforce’s worldview was he believed in human equality, human rights and even animal rights. Why does society tend to be accepting of so many injustices by stopping at contemplation and not take action?
- Wilberforce’s faith moved him into action. He followed God’s direction yet it cost him so much personally; it cost him his health and vocation. Following God’s direction, God’s call, may very well bring you hardships. Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.” [Matthew 16:24-25].
- What does “deny yourself, take up the cross and follow” mean to you?
- When hardships happen when you have been obedient to God’s call, how do or should you handle that?
- Wilberforce persevered year after year. Writing about whether to give up the fight, Wilberforce notes, “a man who fears God is not at liberty” to do so.
- Is there a fear you have overcome that now gives you strength? If so, how are you now using it?
- In fighting against many injustices Wilberforce had some very close friends that spoke wisdoms and encouragement. To fight against injustices we cannot do it alone. We need God and good friends.
- What characteristics should your closest friends have that you seek advice from?
- What advice or words of encouragement a friend shared with you that were life altering?