David Glass (businessman)

David Dayne Glass (b. September 1935[1]) is the former President and Chief Executive Officer of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., and is currently the Owner and Chief Executive Officer of the Kansas City Royals.


Career with Wal-Mart

Glass joined the company in 1976. In his position as Executive Vice President of Finance for Wal-Mart Stores, he administered the overall financial and accounting responsibilities of the company prior to his appointment as Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer. He served in that role until 1984 when he was named President and Wal-Mart’s Chief Operating Officer. In 1988 he was named Wal-Mart’s Chief Executive Officer, stepping down from the position in January 2000. Glass was active in the company’s growth from 123 stores in 1976 to its more than 4,000 nationally and internationally in 2005.

Glass was named Retailer of the Year by members of the retail industry in 1986 and 1991 and was inducted into the Retail Hall of Fame in August, 2000. Glass has been a member of the Board of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. since 1977.

In 1992, NBC news series Dateline interviewed Glass during an investigation into Wal-Mart's "Made in America" and "Bring It Home to the USA" marketing campaigns.[2] The show aired footage of children working in factories in Bangladesh making clothes destined for Wal-Mart, as well as footage of Wal-Mart stores with "Made in America" signs hung over imported goods. When asked about children in Asia working in sweatshop conditions, Glass' reply was "You and I might, perhaps, define children differently,"[3] and then said that since Asians are quite short, one can't always tell how old they were.[4] Glass was shown photographs of one factory that burned down with the children still locked inside. He responded, "Yeah...there are tragic things that happen all over the world."[5] Glass stormed out of the interview, which was terminated immediately by Wal-Mart. On the CNBC Special "The Age of Wal-Mart" the quote "I see Wal-Mart as a big speeding truck just waiting to hit something" was attributed to him.

Career with Kansas City Royals

Glass became the interim CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Royals on September 23, 1993, following the death of the founding owner, Ewing Kauffman.[6] Under Glass' leadership, the board cut the payroll budget from $41 million to $19 million. During the Major League Baseball strike of 1994-1995, Glass opposed any settlement with the players' union without a salary cap, and supported the use of strike breaking "replacement" players, despite a court ruling that Major League owners were in violation of Federal labor laws.[7]

On April 18, 2000, Glass became sole owner of the Royals, purchasing the organization for $96 million.[6] The Board approved his offer despite a competing bid $120 million by Miles Prentice.[7] MLB said that Prentice did not have league mandated net worth to buy the team.[8] An original stipulation of the sale was that any profits from Glass' sale of the Royals must go to charity, but that clause has since expired.[9]

During his tenure as owner, Glass has been criticized for using the same cost-cutting management style of the Wal-Mart company with the Royals baseball team, resulting in large personal profits for himself but a poorly-performing team.[7] Glass' management is cited for transforming the Royals from a winning team in the 1980s to one of the worst teams in Major League Baseball during the 1990s and 2000s.[10][7]

Glass created a controversy on 9 June 2006 by revoking the press credentials of two reporters who had earlier asked pointed questions to Royals management.[11] The harsh move to avoid criticism infuriated many within the press and led to a backlash of articles that extended far beyond the Kansas City sports community. [12]

Personal life

Born on a farm in Oregon County, Missouri, the son of Marvin Glass and Myrtle Van Winkle, he grew up in Mountain View, Missouri and graduated from Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri.[1] Glass and his wife, Ruth, are the parents of three children, Dan, Don and Dayna, all of whom serve on the Royals' Board of Directors. MSU's Glass Hall, which houses business and management classes, was named after him.


  1. ^ a b Ortega, Bob (1999). In Sam we trust: the untold story of Sam Walton .... pp. 96–99. ISBN 0749431776. http://books.google.ca/books?id=haF1pOaAxNwC&pg=PA96. Retrieved 2009-09-20. 
  2. ^ http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/walmart/transform/cron.html The Rise of Wal-Mart
  3. ^ "Ghost of Sma Walton: an American original, Sam Walton embodies the entrepreneurial spirit and epitomizes the American dream". New Internationalist. 2000. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0JQP/is_325/ai_30327774. 
  4. ^ Bob Ortega, In Sam We Trust: The Untold Story of Sam Walton and Wal-Mart, the World's Most Powerful Retailer. New York, N.Y.:Times Business, 1998.(p.227)
  5. ^ Kansas City - News - Life Without Wal-Mart
  6. ^ a b "Glass has full plate as new Royals owner", Kansas City Star, April 20, 2000
  7. ^ a b c d Zinn, Dave (July 2010). Bad Sports: How Owners Are Ruining the Games We Love. Scribner. pp. 133–140. 
  8. ^ http://d2moo.blogs.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/18516000/21976091
  9. ^ Martin, David (2011-04-11). "David Glass won't say he's sorry for being a crappy owner.". The Pitch. Joel Hornbostel. Archived from the original on 2009-06-09. http://www.webcitation.org/5zJtPHURD. Retrieved 2011-06-09. 
  10. ^ Calhoun, Jim (September 2008). A Passion to Lead: Seven Leadership Secrets for Success in Business, Sports, and Life. St. Martins Press. ISBN 0312384661. 
  11. ^ http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/mariners/2003052323_albeat10.html Royals revoke credentials from 2 radio reporters
  12. ^ http://walmartwatch.com/blog/archives/espn_this_david_glass_is_empty/ This Glass is Half Empty

External links

Preceded by
Sam Walton
President of Wal-Mart
Succeeded by
Lee Scott

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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