Walter Steele is the CFO of Starling National Bank, and formerly the CFO and later CEO of Queen Consolidated. Walter is also the best friend of the late Robert Queen, the ex-husband of the late Moira Queen, and the ex-step-father of Oliver and Thea Queen. Both Thea and Oliver, however, seem to have come to regard Walter as family in his own right.
In 2007, Walter visited Robert at the Queen Mansion to ask for him to sign some papers for a Queen Consolidated stock offering. While waiting, Walter and Moira briefly discussed the latter's children, Oliver and Thea. Later, after Robert signed the papers, Walter sensed something was off with his friend and offered to talk if he needed it, to which Robert thanked him. It's assumed this was the last time they saw each other before Robert's death.
Following Robert and Oliver's deaths in the sinking of the Queen's Gambit, Walter became the new CEO of Queen Consolidated.
Sometime afterwards, Walter visited Moira, who was struggling to cope with the loss of her husband and son. He firmly declared that they were going out for lunch, refusing to take no for an answer. This outing began to lift Moira out of her depressive state. Walter and Moira's relationship grew overtime, with the two soon falling in love and marrying in 2011.
Suspicions on Moira
In late 2012, when his apparently dead step-son, Oliver, returned from a 5-year-long shipwreck, Walter greeted him with warm and open arms. Initially, there was some distrust on Oliver's side, but with Walter's continued support and concern of him, they eventually began to grow on one another.
After Oliver's death in absentia was revoked, Walter and Moira gave him a tour of Queen Consolidated. Walter proudly described the company's success in new scientific fields and revealed they would be breaking ground for a new Applied Sciences site, which would be named in honor of Robert. He attempted to mediate a heated discussion between Moira and Oliver regarding the latter working at the company, remaining stoic even at Oliver's outburst over the changes in his life, including Walter's marriage to his mother. Later, Walter spoke at the Applied Sciences groundbreaking ceremony, only to be interrupted by Oliver, who took the stage and publicly declared his refusal to follow in Robert's footsteps.
With Unidac Industries going into receivership, Walter decided to try and acquire it for the company. This caught the attention of Detectives Quentin Lance and Lucas Hilton once two other bidders were killed. Walter maintained his innocence, pointing out there were many other interested parties. At the auction, Walter was pleasantly surprised at Oliver's attendance. When his stepson expressed worry over the other bidders' deaths, Walter tried to assure him they would be safe. Sure enough however, the responsible assassin attempted to kill Walter, but Detective Lance saved him from the line of fire and escorted him to safety.
Walter became suspicious of Moira after she fabricated a story about investing in a friend's business to explain away an account discrepancy of $2.6 million, which he was trying to reconcile for Queen Consolidated. Walter asked Felicity Smoak from the company's I.T. department to uncover the truth behind the withdrawal. Felicity later revealed the money was used to set up offshore limited liability company called Tempest, which purchased a warehouse in Starling City three years ago. Curious, Walter went to the warehouse, determined the password to the lock (ROBERT), and discovered the wreckage of the Queen's Gambit inside, much to his shock. The next morning, Walter witnessed the SCPD, led by Detective Lance, arrest Oliver for being the vigilante and immediately contacted a lawyer.
Walter told his head of security to discreetly transfer the contents of the warehouse, but the man was killed before he could do so. Walter and Moira then spoke about the matter. Walter knew that his wife was connected to something dangerous, feeling he couldn't trust anything Moira says. Walter then flew to Melbourne, Australia claiming he needed to handle some business issues there.
At first, Walter didn't pursue what he learned about Moira, but when Felicity revealed a symbol associated with another entity who tracked the $2.6 million his wife withdrew, he couldn't let it go. He searched the mansion and found a book containing the symbol and a list of names, which he asked Felicity to look into. Walter warned her that the last person he asked to look into this matter was killed, but she agreed to help anyway.
On December 12, Malcolm Merlyn became aware of Walter's investigation and ultimately kidnapped him.
Moira was shown a picture as "proof of life" at Thea's birthday party.
Moira, after learning from Oliver that Walter was apparently dead, approached Malcolm in anger. He promptly provided a live video feed to Walter being held in a cell. Following this, Oliver, after some research, discovered the location where Walter was being kept. Oliver, in his guise as The Hood, then rescued Walter. Walter, though not visibly injured, ended up at the hospital. His family greeted him warmly, and Felicity brought him a bouquet of flowers.
Shortly after returning home, Walter told Moira he wanted a divorce, as he had long since realized she was involved in his abduction.
Chief Financial Officer of Starling National Bank
Roughly five months following his divorce from Moira and the Undertaking, Walter had since moved on from Queen Consolidated and is the Chief Financial Officer of Starling National Bank. Oliver went to Walter for help in saving the company from falling into the hands of Isabel Rochev. Walter more than happily obliged, noting that he was glad that Oliver knew he could still turn to the former for help, commenting that his father would be proud of him. Walter allowed Oliver to get a loan from the bank to buy 5% of the remaining stock of Queen Consolidated, making Oliver and Isabel equal partners in the company.
Walter had dinner with Moira and Mark Francis in order to sound her out about running against Sebastian Blood for the mayorship of Starling City. He later personally visits Moira, encouraging her to run. Walter and Moira meet again when she agrees to run. They discuss Dr. Gill's knowledge of Thea's true paternity, revealing that Walter knows Thea is not Robert's biological daughter.
Walter helped Moira prepare for her mayoral campaign against Sebastian Blood. In another room, Felicity approaches Walter and states that Tempest had made a monetary withdrawal into Starling National Bank. Walter says he will ask Moira about it, and thanks Felicity for bringing it to his attention. He later brings Oliver onstage where he announces he support of his mother's candidacy.
A week later, at Felicity's request, Walter liquidated 800,000 shares of Queen Consolidated stock and placed the money into Oliver's vault at Starling National.
Walter attended Moria's funeral. He attempts to comfort Thea and offered her any help he can give.
Walter was approached by the Star City Council for the position of mayor, but he declined.
In the alternate reality created by the Dominators, Walter still worked at Queen Consolidated. When Robert Queen was elected Mayor of Star City, he needed to find a new CEO for the company and mentioned that the board of directors wouldn't back Walter as a candidate.
Walter is described as "a commanding, upper-crust man". He is also very loyal. This is proven when he learns about Robert's fate and tries to do everything he can to solve his best friend's murder. He is intelligent, and calculating. Despite the divorce with Moira Queen, Walter still loves Oliver and Thea and will not hesitate to help them in anyway he can. He was not only willing to give Oliver a loan to help him buy the shares he needed from Queen Consolidated, but was also happy Oliver knew he could turn to him whenever he needed him. Walter also appears to have forgiven Moira, and has asked her to run for mayor. He's also a very bad liar.
Walter is shown to be very caring for the people around him, even his employees. He attempted to warn Doug Miller he would be a potential target for The Hood, a trait which turned out to be his downfall. Despite marrying Robert's wife, Walter was very loyal to Robert, going as far as to investigate the ruins of the Queen's Gambit when questioning the manner Robert Queen died.
Walter has an RP (received pronunciation) accent, and the emotional self-control often associated with a boarding school education.
Behind the scenes
- In DC Comics, Walter Steele, while also being a CEO of Queen Industries, was a minor character. He was also Caucasian, but in Arrow, he is black.