Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Thursday appointed Bobby L. Martin of Rogers to the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission to serve a 7-year term, replacing outgoing commissioner Emon Mahony.

Martin, a retired president and CEO of Wal-Mart International, has longstanding ties to the retail industry; he sits on the board of directors of Gap. Inc. of San Francisco and previously worked for Dillard's Inc. of Little Rock.

Martin is currently CEO of Mcon Management Services Ltd., a consulting company, and an operating partner at the Stephens Group of Little Rock.

"I don't believe there is a more important appointment I make," Hutchinson said during a news conference. "I know him as a dear friend and avid hunter. In his interview, I was quick to understand his passion for the outdoors."

Martin said he has a lot to learn but is excited to jump into the work and get started. He said he plans to work by the principle of "doing the right thing."

"This is a labor of love and the preservation of what we all love and treasure," Martin said. "I, like all of you, have a long-standing respect for the Game & Fish Commission. It is not by accident that we have this land here in Arkansas."

Martin previously served as chair of the Arkansas Game & Fish Foundation Board, the fundraising auxiliary of the commission.

"Bobby Martin is an avid outdoorsman, conservationist and a strong advocate for youth in the outdoors," Hutchinson said. "His deep knowledge and appreciation for the incredible natural resources of our state will make him a valuable asset to the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission."

Hutchinson said that more than 20 people sought the appointment.