David Glass, who as the low-key chief executive of Walmart Inc. in the late 1980s and 1990s led the retailer through a period of rapid growth and a charge into the grocery business, died January 9 2020, his family said Friday. He was 84 and had been under treatment for pneumonia.
After stepping down as CEO in 2000, the self-described baseball nut treated himself to the ultimate retirement gift—buying the Kansas City Royals baseball team for $96 million. The Royals won the 2015 World Series. The Glass family sold the team in 2019 for about $1 billion.
In 1993, Glass was appointed interim chairman and Chief Executive Officer upon the passing of Ewing Kauffman. In April, 2000, his family acquired the Royals organization, where he continues to serve in the same capacity.
During his ownership, Mr. Glass has been an active member of Major League Baseball and serves on several key committees which include the Executive Council of Major League Baseball, MLB.com and Baseball Enterprises. He was elected in July, 2000, to the Board of Directors of the Baseball Hall of Fame where he serves as a member of the Pension Committee. In addition, he was named Chairman of MLB Advanced Media on November 10, 2010.
Prior to acquiring the Royals, Mr. Glass spent 25 years with Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., serving as president and chief executive officer for 12 years and earning the reputation as one of the nation's premier executives. Under Glass' stewardship, he was credited with leading Wal-Mart through a period of unprecedented growth and becoming the nation's largest retailer with stores, supercenters and Sam's Clubs throughout the United States and internationally.
As a leader in the retail industry, Mr. Glass has been recognized with numerous awards throughout the years and was inducted into the Retail Hall of Fame in August, 2000. He served as a member of the Wal-Mart Board of Directors until 2011.
A native of Mountain View, Mo., Mr. Glass earned a business degree from Missouri State University. Currently, the College of Business is named David D. Glass Hall in honor of his dedication to the university. He and his family continue to support higher education as well as several other charitable interests.
Mr. Glass is survived by his wife of 63 years, Ruth Ann, along with three children, nine grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren and a brother.
Mr. Glass is the former Chairman of the Wal-Mart Executive Committee, serving in that position from February 2000 until June 2006. Mr. Glass served as Wal-Mart's President and CEO from January 1988 to January 2000.