As big-box retailers and smaller shops alike gear up for Black Friday, Wal-Mart Stores' decision to announce a big leadership change came at the wrong time—during the busiest week for the retail industry, CNBC's Jim Cramer said.
"As someone who follows retail closely, this is not the time to change horses so to speak," Cramer said on on Monday. "At the same time, I'm sure this company will without a doubt say that this is seamless, and that there's nothing pertinent so that it would make it seem wrong. I just don't think it's right."
Wal-Mart announced Monday morning its board of directors elected company veteran Doug McMillon to succeed Mike Duke as president and chief executive officer of the company, effective Feb 1.
(Read more: Wal-Mart Stores names new CEO)
"It's big," Cramer said. "It's just not supposed to happen right now."
Cramer said Duke had led the company for a short time compared to other Wal-Mart CEOs.
"When this sort of thing happens, if they really thought it was business as usual, they know that there's a high-profile holiday season," Cramer said. "Black Friday is incredibly important. Why not wait until January 3 to say it. Why now?"
The announcement was made Monday before the markets opened. Wal-Mart stocks pushed slightly upward in early trading.
Asked about how the timing of Walmart's CEO change mirrored when Duke took over the company, Cramer said: "Look, sometimes you just admit you're wrong. ... I guess this is the way they do it. It's not the way I would do it. It's the way they do it. And they're a bigger retailer than I am."
(Read more: Black Friday survival guide: Have a plan, be early)
Cramer's charitable trust does not own shares of Wal-Mart.