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Fortune magazine reports that while there has been enormous attention paid to Wal-Mart’s surveillance capabilities in recent weeks, it ends up that it managed to obtain what it believes to be incriminating romantic emails between two of its now-fired executives the old fashioned ways – it got them from the male executive’s estranged wife.

However, Fortune also says that Wal-Mart promised Shelley Womack, wife of marketing executive Sean Womack, that the emails would never be made public. The attorneys for Julie Roehm – Womack’s boss, with whom he is accused of having an adulterous affair – say that Shelley Womack was told that her husband would only get a promised signing bonus if she agreed to hand over the emails.

Wal-Mart did not respond to requests by Fortune for a comment on the allegations.

Roehm is suing Wal-Mart for beach of contract in its firing of her; Wal-Mart is suing Roehm, accusing her of ethical misbehavior in her dealings with Womack and in her dealings with Draft FCB, the advertising agency she helped to choose to work on the Wal-Mart account…and which was dismissed at the same time as Roehm and Womack.
KC's View:
It is sort of ironic that with all that high tech equipment and sophisticated personnel at its disposal, including veterans of the CIA and FBI, the Bentonville Behemoth needed an angry spouse to make its case.

We guess Joe Mannix wasn’t available.

By the way, we love the Fortune headline: How Wal-Mart got the love e-mail (Betcha they’ve never used that one at Fortune before…)

Fortune makes one observation that strikes us as dead-on. Everybody loses in this ugly series of incidents. Roehm and Womack lose because they’ve been painted as being morally and ethically questionable, no matter how the various lawsuits turn out. And Wal-Mart loses because not only does it not get the benefit of Roehm’s proven talents in the area of marketing and advertising, but the retailer may find it difficult to attract out-of-the-box marketing executives to an Arkansas environment that seems just a little bit poisoned.