Doug McMillon, president and CEO, Wal-Mart Stores
Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said layoffs at the company's headquarters will make the company more agile.

BENTONVILLE, Ark. – According to an internal memo sent to both Walmart and Sam’s Club employees by Walmart CEO Doug McMillon, 450 employees will be laid off from Walmart company headquarters. Currently, Walmart has more than 18,000 employees at its headquarters.

"While difficult, I believe these changes will help us become a more nimble organization that serves customers better," McMillon said in the memo, obtained by various news organizations. "Our customers are changing, retail is changing and we must change. We need to become a more agile company that can easily adapt to shifting customer demand."

Affected employees will be paid for 60 days plus benefits in addition to severance pay equal to two weeks of pay for every year of service. McMillon said the decision is meant "to better position our Home Office teams to move with speed and purpose."

The layoffs come a little over a month after the company reported earnings fell in the second quarter. Net income at Wal-Mart Inc. in the second quarter ended July 31 was $3.475 billion, equal to $1.08 per share on the common stock, down 11 percent from $3.923 billion, or $1.27 per share, in the same period a year ago. Total revenues were $120.229 billion, up narrowly from $120.125 billion.

Operating income at Wal-Mart US in the second quarter was $4.819 billion, down 8 percent from $5.252 billion in the same period a year ago. Net sales increased nearly 5 percent to $73.959 billion from $70.601 billion.

During an Aug. 18 conference call to discuss second-quarter financial results, McMillon told analysts the company plans to “win the future of retail” by making the right choices as a business. One of those choices involves bringing together on-line and off-line offerings, he said. “Through technology, data and mobile, we have incredible new ways to serve customers today, and the opportunities are only growing,” McMillon said. “We believe the winners in retail will be those who can bring together the best of the off-line world with the best of on-line to serve customers however they want to shop, and we believe Walmart has unique competitive advantages in this race.”