Best Buy Names New CEO, Even As Founder Angles To Buy Company Back

The CEO-go-round at Best Buy continues to spin, as the electronics company announced this morning that it had chosen a successor to CEO Brian “These dishes are” Dunn, who left the company under a cloud of scandal — all while company founder Richard “Don’t call me Sergeant” Schulze moves forward with his bid to arrange a buy-back of the business.

So who is this person who will lead Best Buy into the future to compete against online retailers and earn back the respect of retail shoppers? Hubert Joly, CEO of Carlson, which owns, among other brands, Radisson Hotels, Country Inns & Suites, and T.G.I. Friday’s.

“Hubert was an outstanding candidate for this position and I am confident he will be a great fit for Best Buy,” said Hatim Tyabji, chairman of the Best Buy Board. “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.”

Mr. Joly says he intends to “pursue what are exciting growth opportunities for Best Buy – both online and offline, through a combination of competitive prices, superior service, new growth engines and innovations, as we deliver to millions of customers the technology solutions that enable easy access to people, knowledge, ideas and fun.”

Frenchman Joly is slated to take over the reins at Best Buy in September, after he secures a visa. Interim CEO Mike Mikan will continue to play CEO at Best Buy until then, though we assume it will be to the calls of “lame duck walking!” as he strolls through company HQ.

All of this comes as Schulze is talking to private-equity firms to negotiate a buy back of Best Buy stock. He has publicly stated that the company’s current plan of shrinking its retail business is only pushing the business closer to the grave.

Instead, Schulze advocates investment in the business while at the same time cutting prices at the retail level. It’s a risky proposition that would be difficult, if not impossible, to pull off with a publicly owned business that has to return a profit to shareholders.

However, the hiring of a board-approved CEO shows that the company is not going to wait around for Schulze to put financing together for his experiment, and that Joly will likely continue the planned further contraction of Best Buy’s retail business in the coming months.

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  1. Costner says:

    And jokes about the French raising the white flag and/or never winning a battle in 3….2….1….

  2. donovanr says:

    If I had two choices; one was Best Buy and the other was called Monkey Poo where the entrance was a long narrow corridor lined with open barred cages of feces throwing monkeys that were fed on a steady diet of crab cakes and laxatives and the staff were given a legal exemption allowing them to randomly assault customers I would choose the Monkey Poo store as I would still have a higher expectation for a satisfying outcome.
    Plus I like monkeys.

  3. dicobalt says:

    I don’t like Best Buy at all but Schulze seems to realize that their age of giant slovenly run retail electronics stores placed every 10 miles along the road is over.

  4. Remmy75 says:

    Hey at least the sales associates already have the French attitude down. Last time I went there they were rude and unfriendly. It was as if we didnt even speak the same language.

  5. That guy. says:

    I can’t imagine what Best Buy could do to change my opinion about them.

    I still shop there now and then, but here are some key thoughts that run through my head…

    1) I can probably find this item cheaper online.

    2) I don’t trust any information presented to as knowledgable by staff.

    3) If I’m looking at a variety of products, I think I can find a better selection online.

    4) If I buy it right here, right now, I can play with my new electronics purchase tonight. And if it is broken, just come right back and exchange it.

    In that order.

    • JollySith says:

      From what I have been reading/listening to in the news the Founder wants to make a few specific changes that would (if properly implemented) help quite a bit.
      he basically has said he wants to make online purchases and service a much higher priority. Shrink the big box stores to a more realistic size. In his new view the B&M stores would still serve their original function but downgraded. they would also be a physical point of contact for Internet sales. Using a ship to store option with free shipping, and having a place to return web purchased orders where you could speak to a person rather than spend several days trading emails and waiting on shipping.

      it may turn out to be just a a stop gap, but it sounds as if he has identified the problems with internet ordering and is focusing his efforts on highlighting the advantages with a physical location.

      • That guy. says:

        I think this is a bad route to take. Best Buy should build on what strength they have, instead of trying to compete with established companies who have this internet thing down pat.

        Their strengths are that you have someone there to answer imediate questions (in theory), you can bring home your impulse item right then and there, and you can easily exchange your broken item for a replacement then and there.

        Pulling away from this stuff, and focusing online just takes away what seperates them from places like Amazon.

  6. Kuri says:

    Something tells me the current Best Buy board is ignoring the founder because they full well know that if they can run the company into the ground they can take everything in the proverbial vault and split.

  7. Outrun1986 says:

    I will fully admit that I shop at Best Buy but there are reasons for this:

    Their video game trade in prices are higher than everywhere else, and the credit can go towards anything at the store. At some points they are paying me more for my games than I can get on ebay. I simply cannot say no to a deal like this. I can also use this credit to order items online, and a lot of items have free shipping, if not most of them.

    I have not had a problem with employees at the locations near me, the employees are actually courteous and friendly.

    I am careful about what I buy there, I would not use their geek squad services, nor would I use them for any other type of service. But as far as for items in a box that are the same anywhere I can’t see how it would do harm to buy it there if I have store credit rather than buy it somewhere else. I also earn rewards points if I am buying stuff there and its the same price everywhere, thus if I want an apple product I am heading to BB instead of the apple store if my choices are retail only. (There is a mall here with a BB and apple store right next to each other).

    Good examples of what to buy at BB are video game systems, games, apple products, and any other product that is the same everywhere in a box.

    I probably wouldn’t use them for a TV either, my experience with B&M TV buying has not been good, and the results were that all stores have a lot of TV’s on display and none in stock. Amazon it is, where they always have plenty of TV’s in stock ready to ship. I also don’t have to haul a huge box which may or may not fit into my car home.. Much easier.

    I wouldn’t buy dynex (Best Buy’s house brand) stuff to save my life either, I also would avoid items that are specifically made for BB, like TV’s and Blu-ray players and those super cheap made-for-Black-Friday TV’s or anything else that is a one time item with a unique model number that cannot be found elsewhere. If its that type of item I will probably buy at Amazon or newegg for the most reliable customer service.

  8. Starfury says:

    It’s probably been two years since I’ve gone into a Best Buy. I don’t buy a lot of electronics and the last purchases (iPod touch for kids b-days) were from Amazon. Computer parts I’ll also source online but will shop Fry’s if it’s something I need now.

    We are upgrading one of our TVs this Christmas; Best Buy is no on my list of places to purchase. I may compare model/prices there but that’s about it.

  9. Unbeknownst2U says:

    New CEO from hospitality industry:

    Best Bed and Breakfast
    Best Bedbugs Bath and Beyond

    “I can make all the employees nice, friendly and accomodating but we lose our stellar reputation!”

  10. scoosdad says:

    The last thing I can remember going into a Best Buy store for, was to exchange the two government coupons I got for the digital TV converter boxes everyone said we needed to have or else the sky would fall. I paid nothing for them, and Best Buy probably got something from the feds for the transaction.

    Today those two boxes are sitting in my junk room unopened. Anyone need a shiny new converter box?