Buddy Philpot will step down as executive director of the Walton Family Foundation, the philanthropic organization started by Sam and Helen Walton, after 15-years of service.
He recently notified the board of directors and Walton family by letter of his intent to resign saying that he will stay on as long as needed for smooth transition. The organization will conduct a nation search for a new executive director.
Rob, Jim and Alice Walton expressed their appreciation to Philpot for his service over the years.
“He has been an outstanding executive director for our foundation and a leader whom so many throughout the philanthropic world know, trust and respect. As we recently completed the development of long-term strategies to guide our programs, Buddy has decided that now would be an opportune time for a new executive director to take over,” the Walton heirs noted in an blog on the Walton Family Foundation website.
Under Philpot’s leadership, the foundation has grown ten-fold to nearly $400 million. The organization has expanded from a four-person staff to a team of more than 75.
“We are exceptionally optimistic about what’s ahead for the foundation, a belief inspired largely by the impact we’ve experienced with our more than 1,900 grantees and strategic partners across the U.S. and around the world, especially during Buddy’s tenure,” the foundation noted in the release.
The family said it and the foundation remains “committed to the core belief that there are no limits to what people can achieve when they are given the opportunity, the encouragement and the incentive to do their best,” which was at the core of Sam Walton’s beliefs.
Philpot is a longtime business associate of the Walton family, having previously served as president of Arvest Bank, which is led by Jim Walton. He plans to continue working at Walton Enterprises, a holding company, after he steps down from the foundation.