BENTONVILLE, AK--Walmart has named Hill + Knowlton Strategies US CEO Dan Bartlett as its new corporate affairs head, following the departure of Leslie Dach earlier this year.

Bartlett's exit brings to a close a six-year relationship with Public Strategies (PSI), the Texan public affairs firm that effectively took over Hill + Knowlton at the start of 2010. Bartlett was named president and CEO of H+K's US operations following the merger.

Like Dach, Bartlett is a political veteran, having served as White House communications director under President George W. Bush, after playing a key role in his presidential and Texas gubernatorial campaigns.

“Corporate affairs plays a strong role in helping us meet our business objectives at Walmart,” said Walmart CEO Mike Duke, to whom Bartlett will report. ”The team also helps us step up to the broader role we can play in meeting some of the biggest social challenges in the world today – issues like fighting hunger, job creation, sustainability, women’s economic empowerment and the availability of healthier food.”

“Dan’s personal integrity, strong professional skills and broad understanding of world affairs make him the ideal leader to continue moving us forward," added Duke "He has had key roles in government and at a major communications company. He has also counseled a wide range of multinational corporate clients in areas such as growth strategy, crisis management and public opinion. He is known for being straightforward, a good listener and collaborative – all traits that will serve him well at Walmart.”

H+K has responded to Bartlett's departure by promoting Andy Weitz to US CEO. A five-year veteran of the firm, Weitz was most recently EVP and global co-chair of H+K's corporate advisory practice. The firm has also promoted EVP Danner Bethel to the role of US COO.

H+K global chairman and CEO Jack Martin noted that Bartlett, who begins his Walmart job in June, "will be missed."

"I am confident that, under [Weitz and Bethel's] leadership, our US operations will continue to be a strong contributor to our global network,” added Martin.