Anorak News | Mum’s Shopped At Asda – Wal-Mart Hires Spies To Watch You

Mum’s Shopped At Asda – Wal-Mart Hires Spies To Watch You

by | 29th, March 2007

desertatasda.jpgASDA employees may want to keep one eye over their shoulder if the experience of their American cousins at Wal-Mart is anything to go by.

Julie Roehm, Wal-Mart’s senior vice president of marketing, was sacked recently for allegedly having an affair with a junior executive, accepting meals and gifts from an advertising agency and steering Wal-Mart towards a half billion dollar contract with the agency while negotiating a job there.

But how did the overlords at Wal-Mart know so much? Simple. They have their own army of 400 investigators, many of them former FBI, CIA and Justice Department experts whose job it is to snoop on employees, guard executives and plan for natural disasters and terrorist attacks.

Wal-Mart is famously puritanical when it comes to the conduct of its employees who are banned from having relationships with co-workers and from accepting gifts of any value.

A number of heads have rolled at the firm in recent years thanks to the Wal-Mart super sleuths. A board member was fired for buying hunting equipment with company funds, two advertising executives were fired for accepting gifts from a supplier and a computer technician was given the boot for taping a reporter’s telephone calls.

When Roehm launched a suit claiming unfair dismissal, Wal-Mart responded by unloading a pile of intelligence, including private emails between the two executives and emails and receipts from the advertising agency DraftFCB.

Wal-Mart even subpoenead Roehm’s lover’s wife to hand over emails between her husband and Roehm. One such email from Roehm read: “I miss you ridiculously. I hate not being able to call you or write you. I think about us together all the time. Little moments like watching your face when you kiss me.”

Roehm has countered by saying that Wal-Mart’s evidence is based on “anonymous witnesses and…selective use of email, taken way out of context.”

But how long can one woman fight the Wal-Mart behemoth? The Post reveals that her family is living off her son’s college tuition money.

Fortunately for her there is no evidence as damning as that in 2002 when a Wal-Mart investigator tailed a factory inspection manager and an underling on a business trip to Guatemala where he heard “moans and sighs” through the door of a Holiday Inn hotel room.

But the Post believes Roehm could give up any day.

Posted: 29th, March 2007 | In: Reviews Comments (2) | TrackBack | Permalink