Thomas M. “Tom” Coughlin was born in 1949 and died on April 1, 2016.
He was vice chairman of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., and confidante of founder Sam Walton.
He was a native of Cleveland, Ohio.
Tom attended St. Edward High School in Lakewood, Ohio, a western suburb of Cleveland, and graduated in 1967.
He attended California State University East Bay in Hayward, California and earned a bachelor’s degree in political science.
He started his career with the retailer in 1978 in the company’s security division and eventually became vice president of loss prevention.
Tom Coughlin later became vice president of human resources. From January 1998 to January 1999, he was executive vice president and chief operating officer of the flagship Wal-Mart Stores Division.
The following year, Tom headed the Wal-Mart Stores Division
However, December 6, 2004, Wal-Mart announced that Coughlin would retire effective January 24, 2005.
During the time of the announcement of his retirement, Wal-Mart praised Coughlin for his longtime success at the corporation.
The CEO of Wal-Mart Lee Scott said in a company-issued press release, “Tom Coughlin has achieved one of the most successful business careers that anyone could imagine.
In March 2005, Wal-Mart announced that Tom Coughlin had resigned from the board of directors as a result of an internal investigation, the investigation alleged that the use of corporate-owned gift cards and personal reimbursements estimated to be in the range of $100,000 to $500,000.
At the start of July 2005, Tom was the subject of a United States Department of Justice investigation, as well as a lawsuit by Wal-Mart, and was reviewed by a federal grand jury over misuse of company gift cards.
At the start of the investigation, when the charges first surfaced in April 2005, Coughlin claimed the money he embezzled was being used to pay bribes to trade union officials not to organize at Wal-Mart locations and to identify pro-union Wal-Mart workers.
Additionally, some of the former Wal-Mart employees filed lawsuits against Coughlin for their purportedly inadvertent roles in his embezzlement of Wal-Mart funds.
Tom Coughlin passed away at 67 yrs old.