Wal-Mart Stores' board elected Doug McMillon to succeed Mike Duke as president and CEO, effective February 1, a move that one analyst said is "good news" for the company.
McMillon, who currently serves as the chief of the company's international division, was also elected to the company's board of directors, effective immediately.
"We're encouraged by this," said Joe Feldman, a senior retail analyst at Telsey Advisory Group, who added that many people were assuming the reins would fall to either McMillon or Wal-Mart U.S. CEO Bill Simon.
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"I would bet that very little would be different," Feldman said. "I think that's part of why the stock's barely moving at this point. It's going to be a seamless transition."
In his current role, McMillon overseas more than 6,300 stores and more than 823,000 associates in 26 countries outside the U.S., according to the company's website. From 2006 to February 2009, he served as president and CEO of Wal-Mart unit Sam's Club.
Following the report, Wal-Mart shares were roughly flat. (Click here to track its stock following the report.)
"Doug is uniquely positioned to lead our growing global company and to serve the changing customer, while remaining true to our culture and values," said Rob Walton, chairman of Walmart's board of directors. "He has broad experience — with successful senior leadership roles in all of Walmart's business segments — and a deep understanding of the economic, social and technological trends shaping our world.
A source familiar with Wal-Mart's thinking described McMillon as a "calm leader" and "perfect for the future." The move also highlights the international's division's "prime importance" to the retailer's future.
By the end of the fiscal year—January 31—the discounter plans to announce McMillon's successor as CEO of Walmart International.
—By CNBC's Katie Little. Follow her on Twitter @KatieLittle. CNBC's Scott Wapner contributed to this report.