Struggling consumer electronics retailer Best Buy Co. Inc. (BBY: Quote), which is in the cross-hairs of a takeover, has appointed turn-around specialist Hubert Joly as its new president and chief executive officer.
The company has been without a permanent CEO ever since Brian Dunn's sudden resignation in early April. Director Mike Mikan served as the interim CEO since then.
Richfield, Minnesota-based Best Buy said Joly comes to the company with "expertise in turnaround and growth across the media, technology and service sectors."
Joly is joining Best Buy after serving as the president and CEO of Minneapolis, Minnesota-based hospitality, restaurant and travel giant Carlson, one of the largest privately-held companies in the USA, since March 2008.
"Hubert's range and depth of experience in transforming companies is exactly what the company needs at the moment, as is his energetic, imaginative and experienced leadership in executing strategies," Chairman Hatim Tyabji said in a statement.
Joly is credited with a track record of successfully turning around companies over the past 15 years. These include leading Vivendi Universal Games from 1999 to 2001, and the restructuring of Vivendi's media assets from 2002 to 2004. Other companies were Electronic Data Systems or EDS (now part of Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) in France from 1996 to 1999, and Carlson Wagonlit Travel from 2003 to 2007.
He previously served as CEO of Carlson Wagonlit Travel from 2003 to 2007. Joly, who began his career as a partner with McKinsey & Co. from 1982 to 1996, also serves on the board of Ralph Lauren Corp. (RL) since 2009. As he is born and raised in France, Joly is awaiting Visa clearance to join Best Buy.
Best Buy also noted that Mikan will continue to serve on the Board, where he will take the position of chairman of the Audit Committee, after Joly joins the company.
"We can't thank Mike enough for his service as CEO. We asked Mike to step into a difficult situation, and he moved the company forward in the right direction. We were fortunate to have his guidance and energy," Tyabji added.
Former CEO Dunn left the company after serving it for the past 28 years following charges of violating company policy by engaging in an extremely close personal relationship with a female employee. He was named CEO in 2009 after being president and COO since 2006, and executive vice president of U.S. retail from 2004 to 2006.
Just a month after Dunn resigned, Founder and Chairman Richard Schulze retired from the position, with long time director, Hatim Tyabji, succeeding him on June 21.
Schulze's retirement came after an independent probe into Dunn's conduct showed that Schulze acted inappropriately when he failed to bring the matter to the Audit Committee of the board in December 2011, when the allegations against Dunn were first raised with him.
Schulze, also Best Buy's largest shareholder, then resigned as chairman and a director of Best Buy on May 7, two weeks earlier than he had later announced, to explore all available options for his 20.1 percent ownership stake in the company.
Schulze is now in the process of floating a fully financed offer for taking Best Buy private along with a group of private equity firms.
BBY closed Friday's regular trading session at $20.27, down $0.14 or 0.69% on a volume of 7.59 million shares. In the past 52-week period, the stock has been trading in a range of $16.97 to $28.53.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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