Another Top Best Buy Exec Flees The Ship

Only 1.3% of BestBuy.com's 1 billion visitors actually buy anything.

Only 1.3% of BestBuy.com’s 1 billion visitors actually buy anything.

Less than a year after joining the company, Stephen Gillett, the head of Best Buy’s digital team — which includes BestBuy.com — has left the electronics retailer for a gig at Symantec.

Gillett, a former Starbucks exec, had come on board at Best Buy in March with the hope that he could help make the company an online competitor to Amazon and other e-tailers who have been chiseling away at Best Buy market shares.

He had spoken of his big ideas — like streaming competitors’ prices into Best Buy retail stores in real time — though he likely didn’t have enough time to push through any major changes to the company’s online processes.

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune points out that BestBuy.com still remains a pretty big disappointment. Even though the site had around 1 billion visitors in fiscal 2012, only 1.3% of those visitors ever bought anything while browsing the site.

The split appears amicable, at least according to the parties involved. And Best Buy insists Gillett is leaving for a job he couldn’t say no to.

“We are grateful for Stephen’s contributions during his time at Best Buy,” said Best Buy President and CEO Hubert Joly. “And we wish him well as he returns to his roots and assumes a very senior role at Symantec.”

“I will miss the wonderful teams at Best Buy,” Gillett Tweeted last night. “Our time together was short, but our friendships and experiences lifelong.”

Gillet’s departure is only the latest in a long string of high-profile exits and changes at Best Buy.

In April, then-CEO Brian “One and” Dunn stepped down under a cloud of scandal involving allegations of an affair with a female employee. His exit was followed by that of the international CFO, the chief marketing officer, and most prominently, company founder Richard Schulze, who is currently trying to buy the company back.