Report: Best Buy CEO Probed Over Relationship With Female Employee

The plot continues to thicken in the story surrounding this week’s sudden departure of Best Buy CEO Brian “I Like My Burgers Well” Dunn. As some had suspected when he stepped down on Tuesday under the cloud of a “personal conduct” probe, new reports claim that the 28-year Best Buy vet was being investigated for possibly misusing company assets while involved in a relationship with a female employee of the electronics retail chain.

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune was the first to report that 51-year-old Dunn, who stepped into the CEO role nearly three years ago, had “acted inappropriately” with a 29-year-old employee who was identified by the Wall Street Journal as a working in the leadership training institute at Best Buy HQ.

The Star-Tribune gave Best Buy the opportunity to deny its source’s claims, but a spokesman for the retailer only said, “the investigation is ongoing. We have no additional comment at this time.”

The Wall Street Journal attempted to speak to the woman, saying that her Facebook page still listed her as a Best Buy staffer. When they were unsuccessful, the paper says it did find someone close to her that said the situation was “something small that people blew out of proportion.”

Even so, Dunn’s quickie exit is reminiscent of the 2010 departure of HP CEO Mark Hurd, who is alleged to have used company funds in an attempt to woo a former reality show star that he had hired to host events for company executives.

Best Buy Probes CEO Relationship [WSJ.com]

Best Buy board investigating Dunn’s conduct with female staffer [StarTribune.com]

Comments

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  1. eturowski says:

    I bet he’s happy he’s not being probed over a relationship with a male employee.

    • Portlandia says:

      Right, because homophobia is so funny.

      • GaijenSoft says:

        And making fun of his weight is? I notice every article concerning him on this site has a fat joke attached to it. So, why is it okay to make someone for their weight, but not sexuality?

        • sirwired says:

          I’m missing the fat joke here.

          There is a joke about his pose, but I can totally see the same joke being made with any person with a pose like that.

          • GaijenSoft says:

            “Brian “I Like My Burgers Well” Dunn”

            I consider that a fat joke, not making fun of his pose

            • belsonc says:

              I consider it wordplay of the Chris Berman sort…

            • The Porkchop Express says:

              on another post about him somebody said “invisible hamburger”. It does look like is about to or just has taken a bite of something we can’t see in his hand.

              plus he is pretty big.

        • Leksi Wit says:

          Because you can control your weight. No one is born “obese”. However, sexual orientation, race, gender and some disabilities you can’t help. So… BRING ON THE FAT JOKES.

          • Conformist138 says:

            Wait… everyone can? Really? Might wanna reconsider that. The thing is you can’t TELL if it’s something about self-control or complications from other medical problems. My little brother was a skinny kid and had behavioral problems. He was medicated and gained a ton of weight immediately. He’s 22 now and JUST started thinning out again despite being involved in athletics his whole life. My best friend was a small child but had some respiratory issues (genetic, not lifestyle related) and was put on steroids. She immediately gained a lot of weight and has to this day never been able to take it off. She works a physically exhausting job, I swim with her twice a week, we go walking, and I know her eating habits. It’s really not her fault that she is so large.

            As for me, I know my own eating habits aren’t great, but I have found a troubling problem where I don’t lose a single pound unless I am consuming under 800 calories a day (while working out up to an hour 5 days a week), which is considered slow starvation. I did it for a year and it was the first time I had ever lost any significant weight since I was a teenager. When I eat a more normal 1200 calories, I gain weight and ultimately maintain at close to 200lbs. It’s unbelievable people still think this is just choice. Fact is, some of us just are genetically predisposed to hold on to fat reserves. It’s biological and serves the evolutionary advantage of surviving longer during famine. It’s not nice to make fun of us when you don’t know how we eat or how much exercise we get. I know fat people who could run and swim laps around a slimmer person.

            Not to mention, it’s irrelevant anyway. Just like the gender of the employee he was involved with is irrelevant, his weight doesn’t have anything to do with the story.

            • Costner says:

              I hear these types of stories all the time, but there is a difference between someone who has gained a bit of weight due to steroids or a medical condition and a person who is 100, 200, or 400lbs overweight.

              Out of 100 morbidly obese people how many do you honestly think are that heavy due to a medical condition or genetic predisposition? I’m guessing less than one even though they probably weight as much as two average sized Americans (*zing* bonus fat joke inside a fat joke thread).

              The truth is, people do not gain a massive amount of weight without also consuming a massive amount of calories. I’m not talkingabout 20 or 30 extra pounds here, I’m talking about 100, 150 or more pounds. The only genetic condition that allows someone to get that big is the fact they were born with elbows that allowed them to shove massive quantities of food into their mouths.

              And while we are at it, please don’t ride this “fat people are persecuted” myth train any longer than necessary. People judge other people – that is how society works. At least fat people never had to drink from another water fountain or sit at the back of the bus. Aside from other races, all types of people are judged and made fun of. I was very thin when I was in high school and college and trust me I heard just as many skinny jokes as a fat person ever hears fat jokes. I have a friend who has a rather large nose, and he hears “beak” jokes all the time. I had a classmate who had ears that stuck out and his nickname was “chips” due to his ears.

              At least in the vast majority of the time, someone who is fat can actually get their weight under control if they so desire. Yes there are exceptions to the rule, but they are extremely rare. A extremely thin person may not be able to gain weight because their body will tell them they are full and/or their metabolism will simply kick into overdrive to compensate for increased food intake. A person with a big nose or big ears can’t change a thing aside from surgery, and someone who was born a minority will always be a minority.

              That’s life. People judge and make jokes. You can either let it roll of your back, you can refuse to accept the sitution and ramp up the exercise and/or change the diet, or you can get all bent out of shape to the point you cry yourself to sleep over a piece of cheesecake covered in gravy to make you feel better about it. The choice is yours.

              • Kat says:

                “The only genetic condition that allows someone to get that big is the fact they were born with elbows that allowed them to shove massive quantities of food into their mouths.”

                You, sir, are ignorant and a bigot.

            • Jawaka says:

              Meh, nobody’s responsible for anything. Personal responsibility doesn’t exist. We’re all victims.

          • Jawaka says:

            Cynthia Nixon claimed that she chose to be gay.

    • tbax929 says:

      I find that most people who say homophobic things are struggling with their own sexuality.

      Those of us confident in who and what we are don’t feel a need to make gay jokes.

      Please invite me to your coming out party once you figure out your true sexuality.

      • nbs2 says:

        My initial thought was, “hey, he’s right. There is a greater social stigma to being caught with someone of your own gender than the opposite.”

        After reading the comments, I’m less bothered by this than the outright vitriol regarding his size.

        Also, I’m comfortable with my build, sexuality, race, gender, and age. I have no problem making fun of any of those about me or anybody else. If nothing else, stick and stones. I find that most people who fear words at struggling with their pomposity.

        • eturowski says:

          Oh, JESUS, you people, it had nothing to do with being gay… it was a bad play on words about the word “probe” and the implication of the only place you might be probed if you were a guy.

          I am truly sorry if I offended anyone – but seriously, it’s an internet forum. Lighten up.

          P.S. I am a woman, not a man, as nbs2 wrongly assumed.

      • Costner says:

        And I find that most people who can’t accept jokes for their face value simply lack a sense of humor.

        Those of us confident in who and what we are don’t feel a need to turn an innocent joke on the Internet as a psuedo Congressional grilling due to our sensibilities being offended.

        In related news, you seem like the type of person who would get mad when someone made a reference to a manhole cover because it seems sexist. Lighten the hell up.

      • Jawaka says:

        So if someone makes a polish joke does that then of make them a closet pollock as well? (I’m Polish)

      • gman863 says:

        I’m gay and jokes like this don’t bother me a bit.

        My only regret is I wish I had posted it first.

  2. zantafio says:

    oh gawd, the mental picture of this 600lbs CEO being probed….

  3. zantafio says:

    He reminds me of President Taft….

  4. ReverendTed says:

    It is my professional opinion that ANY relationship with Brian Dunn would technically be an inappropriate relationship.

  5. djkatscan says:

    Someone (a current employee) mentioned this to me and the idea might not be that far off…
    Maybe this woman was laid off and disgruntled, thinking that she was supposed to be “safe” from the layoffs?
    An employee of the leadership institute. Hmm I know of only a few people that age it could be…I bet you she buzzed me in there a few times when I used to work at corp. Hahaha.

  6. gman863 says:

    It’s a wonder she didn’t get crushed to death during sex.

    • Leksi Wit says:

      That’s why they invented the cowgirl and reverse cowgirl positions. Sometimes being on top can save your life!

  7. Buckus says:

    The real reason? He wasn’t meeting his service plan quotas, so after two warnings his manager had to fire him.

  8. GMFish says:

    Are we sure he wasn’t canned over an inappropriate relationship with a bucket of deep fried butter?

  9. Ed says:

    Excellent way to work the word “quickie” into the article. Well done.

    {golf clap}

  10. u1itn0w2day says:

    Management screwing the employees. What else is new…

  11. RiverStyX says:

    Take it from Elaine: “Well there’s nothing more sophisticated than diddling the maid and then chewing some gum.”

  12. RandomHookup says:

    Who does he think he is…a college football coach?

    • Patriot says:

      He wishes he was Urban Meyer.

      • Silverhawk says:

        I think Random is referring to Bobby Petrino, formerly Arkansas football coach.

        • Patriot says:

          I know who he meant, but Urban Meyer was “involved” with a student as well. However, he had a couple national championships under his belt so it’s been pushed under the rug.

  13. WB987 says:

    From my own experiences working for Best Buy in college, an inappropriate relationship between male manager and female employee is typical Best Buy culture. It was disgusting how the store managers and leads would put underage girls on all the registers/returns only and then a bunch of knuckle-dragger bro middle-managers prey on them (and not just in my store).

  14. Blueskylaw says:

    “she that said the situation was “something small that people blew out of proportion.”

    Insert sexual jokes here.

    • Leksi Wit says:

      Well you know she wasn’t talking about his ass…

      • pamelad says:

        Hilarious, Leksi Wit!

        If they were referring to the front, then his thing would have to be less than 24 inches long to be out of proportion. Or perhaps they were just talking about his idiocy or ego. In which case, no blow-up needed.

  15. Riroon13 says:

    I wonder if she was forced to wear the Slave Leia costume?

  16. sirwired says:

    Ouch. That’s gotta “Hurd” to get accused of such a thing.

  17. humphrmi says:

    These are all great folks. Keep ‘em coming.

  18. umbriago says:

    “Man held as probe widens”

  19. Overheal says:

    Actual Recent Photo

    http://www.blogcdn.com/www.engadget.com/media/2012/04/briandunnbestbuy-whiteback.jpg

    Chris Morran I read this site because it still has some journalistic integrity left. Don’t fuck that up.

    • Leksi Wit says:

      He’s still very fat. That jacket’s not doing a good job hiding his enormous waistline. It’s especially egregious considering the guys us super-rich and can afford to eat well and lead a healthy lifestyle. It is much harder for the poor and many middleclass Americans to stay thin. The onus is on this disgusting lard-ass and his poor dietary/lifestyle choices.

      • Leksi Wit says:

        *the guy is super-rich (no edit button–doh)

      • BorkBorkBork says:

        Looks like the average American to me.

      • Conformist138 says:

        What is wrong with you? Seriously, these comments make you come across like a vile and mean person, which I hope isn’t actually true.

        Being thin is not the end-all, be-all for a lot of us. Most care about being healthy, which is increasingly shown isn’t JUST about how much you weigh, there are a ton of other factors. So the guy is a *bit* heavy, but I see people his size and bigger all the time. Would you walk up to each of them in person to call them a “disgusting lard-ass”?

        • Alliance to Restore the Republic of the United States of America says:

          There’s a distinct difference in “healthy” and “disgusting lard ass.” This guy is of the latter variety.

        • tbax929 says:

          Fatism is one of the few discriminations that seems to still be socially acceptable.

          I’m far from being fat, but it offends me that so many of the comments on this article have to do with his weight and how gross the thought of him having sex is. I think everyone posting that should have to post a picture of themselves so we can scrutinize and judge them.

  20. wellfleet says:

    This is hardly shocking. At my store, my fellow assistant manager was sleeping with cashier who was still in high school, and then moved on to a customer service girl. Another assistant manager in our store was transferred from our sister store 25 miles up the road after sleeping with a geek squad employee. Instead of firing him, they just separated them. Ethics are not a Best Buy thing.

    • Shadowfire says:

      Did they want to continue the relationship? Because if so, what Best Buy did is absolutely the ethical thing to do.

      Jesus fuck, people…

      • wellfleet says:

        Moronic response is moronic.

        Have you ever been a manager or supervisor in a company with multiple employees? You are not allowed to become involved with, much less sleep with, a subordinate employee. It opens up the company to lawsuits and is a massive liability. The manager should have gotten fired for exercising terrible judgment.

        As for the one sleeping with the 17 year-old high school girl, as a man in a position of authority over her, this is statutory rape. I wish I’d known about it during their relationship.

  21. skakh says:

    Will Rotund Brian be required to pay a restocking fee?

  22. Alliance to Restore the Republic of the United States of America says:

    A guy who hasn’t seen his own penis in 30 years isn’t someone with the personal discipline and restraint needed to successfully run a billion dollar company.

    • Phildogger says:

      Yet no one tried to stop Porkins from attacking the death star, told uncle Owen he was too fat to farm, or asked Jabba to slow down his frog intake. I would think that you, as a Star Wars fan, would be used to seeing fat people at most of your conventions and social engagements.

    • Phildogger says:

      Yet no one tried to stop Porkins from attacking the death star, told uncle Owen he was too fat to farm, or asked Jabba to slow down his frog intake. I would think that you, as a Star Wars fan, would be used to seeing fat people at most of your conventions and social engagements.

      • Alliance to Restore the Republic of the United States of America says:

        Those people don’t run billion dollar corporations.

        George Lucas wasn’t fat when he made IV, V and VI. He was when he made I,II and III. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

        • Phildogger says:

          Fat people scare you, admit it. Sounds like someone got their ass kicked by a fatty in high school. Don’t hate, participate. Pick up a KFC double down and hit the comic store, pal.

          • Alliance to Restore the Republic of the United States of America says:

            Fat people don’t scare me at all. I think they could live much better lives if they could get things under control. Our society doesn’t make it easy for them, or for me to stay in shape for that matter.

  23. RandomHookup says:

    I’m guessing it was either Mrs. Fields or Mrs. Butterworth.

  24. FLConsumer says:

    He was probably just doing the same thing to that female employee that Best Buy does to its customers every day.

  25. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    HA HA! I was [almost] right! Granted she was an employee and not a hooker, but, technically, since he’s the CEO authorizing people getting paid, I’m technically right!

    And that’s the best kind of right.

  26. Pagan wants a +1 button says:

    I don’t know; I read the title, and the only thing that popped into my head was, “Doesn’t sound like *he* is the one who got probed.”

  27. waicool says:

    you said PROBE ha ha

  28. Kat says:

    Hey Chris Morran and Consumerist, maybe you could set a good example for your readers and not make fat jokes (e.g. “I like my burgers well Dunn”) in your articles. Completely inappropriate. And you could delete the “Mrs. Butterworth” comment from someone as well. Fat hatred isn’t cool, it’s bigotry.

  29. bwcbwc says:

    Wait, he pulled Hurd after all?