Communications Executive Resigns After Background Check Uncovers Red Flag

truthHere’s the deal: It always pays to tell the truth. Always.

Such was the case this week when David Tovar, Wal-Mart’s vice president of communications, admitted a snafu discovered during his background check was indeed correct.

“I was 100 percent transparent,” says Tovar after a third-party company red flagged his education based on a degree he never completed.

Even though he worked for the retail giant for eight years, prior to being promoted to senior vice president, he went under an assessment as part of protocol.

He explained to CNBC:

“As part of that process I was going through additional leadership assessment, including a battery of tests including questions about leadership, drug tests, background checks. In the background check my education was flagged—it was done by a third party company. They asked me about it, and I was 100 percent transparent.”

It sounds like after studying at the University of Delaware for four years, the communications professional walked in the graduation ceremony, moved to New York City and voila! He started working right away. A few months later he realized he was a few credits shy of an actual degree.

He added, “I got a job and never looked back. I really didn’t think an art degree would matter in communications, which was the field I went into.”

Keep in mind not looking back still meant including the yet-to-be-completed degree on his resume. Well, Wal-Mart told him they weren’t able to promote him based on their discovery. Per the CNBC piece, he could have remained working there in his current role but not in the higher position. It sounds like he wanted the higher role and as such, both parties mutually agreed upon his departure.

Big picture: Every now and then when this topic comes up in headlines (remember the Yahoo! executive who falsified his degree?), it serves as a reminder of the importance of transparency and honesty. Okay, we’re off our soapbox now. Really.