Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn Resigns

After three years as Best Buy’s top executive and biggest public cheerleader, CEO Brian Dunn has said goodbye to the electronics retailer.

Dunn began his 28-year career at Best Buy as a regular old store staffer before working his way up through the ranks.

During his tenure, the retailer faced increased competition from online retailers with less overhead who were able to offer the same products for reduced prices — and in some instances, without collecting sales tax.

While Best Buy increased its footprint internationally, it has been looking at retail reductions here in the U.S. The chain recently announced it would close 50 stores and had previously discussed shrinking the square footage of a number of its existing retailers.

In recent months, Dunn attempted to calm angry customers whose Black Friday orders were not received until after the holidaysand then had to respond to news stories suggesting that Best Buy’s future outlook was bleak.

Here is the statement from Best Buy HQ:

The board of directors of Best Buy Co., Inc. today announced that Brian Dunn has resigned as chief executive officer and director. There were no disagreements between Mr. Dunn and the company on any matter relating to operations, financial controls, policies or procedures. There was mutual agreement that it was time for new leadership to address the challenges that face the company. Director G. Mike Mikan has been named interim CEO to lead the company while a search for a new CEO is underway. Richard Schulze, the founder of Best Buy, continues to serve as chairman.

“I have enjoyed every one of my 28 years with this company, and I leave it today in position for a strong future. I am proud of my fellow employees and I wish them the best,” said Dunn.

“We thank Brian Dunn for his many years of service to the company and wish him well in his next endeavors,” said Schulze. “As we move forward, we are very pleased to have a strong leader with Mike Mikan’s credentials as interim CEO.”

“The Best Buy team and I will be extremely focused on successfully managing this period of transition. I want to assure our employees, customers and other key stakeholders that we will work together to achieve our company’s growth and profitability goals,” said Mikan.

Mikan, who will remain on the board while serving as interim CEO, has been a Best Buy director since April 2008. He formerly served as executive vice president and chief financial officer of UnitedHealth Group Incorporated and chief executive officer of Optum, a health care services company and affiliate of UnitedHealth. Mikan has strong financial and operational expertise, as well as public company leadership experience.

A search committee of the board of directors has been created consisting of the founder and members of the nominating, corporate governance and policy committee. The committee will oversee the process for the identification and selection of the next CEO.


Edit Your Comment

  1. dolemite says:

    “I’m not going down with this ship!” /bails out on golden parachute.

    • Leksi Wit says:

      Ohmygawd, it’s Jaba the Hutt! Hide Leia!!

      • Maltboy wanders aimlessly through the Uncanny Valley says:

        He looks like he’s about to cough up a Mini Me.

    • E. Zachary Knight says:

      The phrase “Operation Dumbo Drop” comes to mind when I think of parachutes and that picture.

      Sorry. That was kind of rude.

    • sjb says:

      First thing I thought when I saw this – take the money and run. He has figured that there is no more money to be made and its time to call it quits.

      Anyone who has things in their “repair” department had better claim it now before it gets lost.

    • Bitz says:

      More like “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead”…..

      As frustrating as it is to shop there, at least for a while I can be optimistic that a new CEO can turn things around.

  2. Blueskylaw says:

    Was that picture “altered” by Instagram?

  3. crazydavythe1st says:

    Where’s the monocle?

  4. Phil Keeps It Real [Consumerist] says:

    So that is what a fat cat looks like.. wakka wakka wakka!

  5. Jules Noctambule says:

    I didn’t know Vernon Dursley worked for Best Buy!

  6. Nuc says:

    Came for the fat jokes…not disappointed.

  7. Lolotehe says:

    Why is this story using a picture of Brian Butterfield?

  8. The Porkchop Express says:

    Dunn began his 28-year career at Best Buy as a regular old store staffer before eating his way up through the ranks.

    Seriously, are there any photos of him before he ate the previous CEO?

  9. Dr. Ned - This underwear is Sofa King Comfortable! says:

    “Our customers shouldn’t worry, our core business will function as normal. We will continue to overcharge for our products, harangue shoppers, offer subpar repair services, and slowly die like we’re in the belly of Sarlacc.”

  10. markvii says:

    Did they check his receipt on the way out???

  11. Naked-Gord-Program says:

    Instead of spending time with friends he stated his reason for leaving was to have more time to eat.

  12. nbs2 says:

    I don’t like his company, but I have to respect him for working his way up to the top slot. At least if he worked and it wasn’t just politicking. Now, if he had just found a way to make his employees not idiots.

  13. adamf63 says:

    rat abandoning a sinking ship

  14. Straspey says:

    Here’s a different photo of him — this one shows him chatting with the new, incoming CEO…

  15. RavenWarrior says:

    Okay, I’ve defended this long enough, seeing this finally raised the red flag that something’s rotten in the state of Best Buy. I’ve worked my tail off at my location and feel like I’m one of the employees trying to get rid of that ‘all Best Buy sales associates are know-nothing idiots’ mentality that seems to be rampant here, but it doesn’t bode well when the CEO just up and quits.

    • lvdave says:

      Yeah.. I’d be getting my resume in order.. The “Man The Lifeboats” call will soon be heard.. Hope you can spin your resume to downplay the time you spent at WorstBuy, since it sounds like you might be that ONE cluefull employee that legend claimed actually worked there…

      • RavenWarrior says:

        Well thank you for the somewhat backhanded compliment there… I’d like to think the people I work with directly are competent for the most part.

        It’s just this is the first thing I’ve seen in this whole ‘Best Buy Death Watch fervor’ that I haven’t found evidence to downplay it justify the actions or anything. I’m not a sheep to the company, I’m just a realist and this is certainly real.

        • dwtomek says:

          Welcome back to reality. I hope your stay in BestBuy Land was not too traumatic for you. I think with your newfound perception you might be able to look back and see that the death knell has been sounding for some time now. You just didn’t want to hear it.

    • dolemite says:

      I’m getting a strong Blockbuster vibe.

    • some.nerd says:

      Experience states it was roughly 6-9 months from “Circuit City Death Watch” to “Circuit City Death,” soooo… yeah. Time to get paddin’.

    • AllanG54 says:

      The CEO didn’t quit. The board decided they needed new direction so by “mutual agreement” he left. Otherwise they would have canned his ass but at least this way he retains some dignity.

    • Anna Kossua says:

      RavenWarrior – This may make you feel better. :)

      A week or so I had a really good experience with Best Buy’s in-store customer service people. A friend bought for me a part for my computer, and it had compatibility issues with my machine. It was purchased in another city and he used a credit card. The Best Buy folks gave me no trouble at all, they let me choose a new brand with only my ID and the receipt with my friend’s info. Everyone was very nice about it, too.

  16. Fuzzy_duffel_bag says:

    Marwood: What about what’s-his-name?
    Withnail: What about him?
    Marwood: Why don’t you give him a call?
    Withnail: What for?
    Marwood: To ask him about his house.
    Withnail: You want me to call what’s-his-name and ask him about his house?
    Marwood: Why not?
    Withnail: All right. What’s his number?
    Marwood: I’ve no idea, I’ve never met him.
    Withnail: Well neither have I. What the fuck are you talking about?

  17. ARP says:

    So he’s the CEO of Kabletown and Best Buy?

  18. Boven says:

    I suspect he’s bailing out before things totally fall apart.

    Either that or he resigned so that he can devote all of his time to tracking down Solo and the wookie.

  19. BurtReynolds says:

    Next up: Appointment of Robert Nardelli as CEO/Chairman.

    • Velvet Jones says:

      Robert Nardelli has been come the Ted McGinley of CEOs. When Rob shows up you know your company is in big trouble.

  20. CurrentGeekSquadEmployee says:

    No wonder these companies don’t take blogs like this seriously. Obviously it’s a doctored photo, but over half the comments are about the man’s weight. Most of you act like a bunch of little kids.

  21. Kahlidan says:

    CNBC recently aired a special about Best Buy with Dunn taking a considerable amount of the spotlight. Years of bad practices and decisions are catching up with the company and he decided to cash out while ahead. I guess now the color blue isn’t the only similarity between the “BB” giants.

  22. DrLumen says:

    Considering this comes on the heels of the head geek and the exec VP (IMS) that resigned a couple of months ago, I agree that something is up.

    Perhaps the board of directors have heard the distant drumbeat of the dissatisfied customers and decided to clean house starting at the top?

  23. MacUser1986 says:

    Smart man, get out before it’s to late!

    Now about that Weight Watchers plan he’s neglected…

  24. kataisa says:

    Only a few more nails in the coffin before Best Buy ends up like Circuit City.

  25. Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

    Holy crap! It’s Jabba the Hutt’s evil cousin!


  26. sgtyukon says:

    In my experience, “mutual agreement” means the following: somebody tells you you’re fired; you say to them, “If that’s the way you feel, I don’t want to work here anymore.” At least that’s the way it has always worked for me.

    • Yomiko says:

      “There was mutual agreement that it was time for new leadership to address the challenges that face the company.”

      AKA, we fired him and he agreed that the severance package was worth not suing.

  27. u1itn0w2day says:

    This sums up the former ceo’s reign(of terror to some).

  28. AustinTXProgrammer says:

    Posters here will think I’m nuts but I will miss best buy. If I want something and don’t want to wait they are conveniently located everywhere. As long as I know not to use geek squad or buy extended warranties that’s fine. Sure they drop the ball every now and then, but I’ve had that everywhere. I have even shopped at Best Buy when the before tax price was competitive. I won’t generally hold sales tax against a B&M.

    Now I will have to endure the hostile environment of Fry’s or wait for shipping.

  29. cromartie says:

    Best Buy has completely lost the plot. Complete lack of competitive pricing. Horrible service. Bad lighting. A lack of emphasis on appliances. The continued front and center featuring of CDs and DVDs in the store layout. Horrendous customer service. Shoving warranties down your throat at the checkout.

    If they weren’t the only place I could get a couple of items in a store, I wouldn’t go there at all.

    Then again, considering how many mom and pop record stores they ran out of business 20-25 years ago by selling CDs at loss leader prices, it serves them right.

  30. Major Tom Coming Home says:

    I do have to respect the fact that he started at best buy as a jabronie.

  31. Princess Beech loves a warm cup of treason every morning says:

    It’s kind of sad — the people I worked with in Corporate were really nice and very competent, until they started adopting ridiculous cost-cutting techniques. Some teams are all outsourced (some of which I have to admit can’t even do the job of one competent person), and the lone person representing the team on-site is severely under-budgeted and pulled in all directions like crazy. The fact that IT is one of the more important business segment to keep the company running smoothly and are the backstage workers during the Holiday retail frenzy and they sorely focused on selling and opening up stores… I would say this is a welcome change. Hopefully the next CEO will actually turn things around.

  32. dvdcowboy says:

    As far as I can tell, Best Buy does not want my money.

    1. Purchased a dvd player with a promotion for 5 free dvds. I fill in the paperwork and send it and I get no response (granted that was only in the year 1998 and they might be a little backed up on that promotion). I figure once I get the movies I can give them to the 2 children I have had and raised since then if dvd players still exist in the world.

    2. I ordered a big screen TV @, selected instore pickup. They did not get the Tv, my order was cancelled, they refused to offer a similar unit as a replacement.

    3. Ordered dishwasher, they loose my order, make me spend 3 visits in the store in Amarillo, tx for over an hour each time to track it down. Warehouse manager tries to convince me I will never get it. Assistant manager and store manager promised to call me back to give me updates and arrange delivery, no such calls came.

    I’m done trying so hard to give them my money, shopping should not rattle the nerves so much!

  33. Commissar Yarrrrrrr says:

    Time to spend all those gift cards I have collected over the years before they become worthless.

  34. wellfleet says:

    Brian Dunn is a heck of a nice guy, I met him several times at corporate functions, but he is an idiot of criminal proportions. The ideas that he signed off on were dumb on an intense scale:

    1. Expanding the big-box electronic concept to Europe and then promptly shutting it down.
    2. Musical instrument/exercise equipment/electric bikes
    3. Buy-back program for electronics. Spend $300 so we can give you a $200 gift card maybe in the future, maybe.
    4. Magazine scam/Snapfish scam/AOL scam/assorted cashier scams
    5. Allowing Geek Squad to go from awesome, intelligent techs to a sales department that churns through bright people and keeps the duds.
    6. Allowing his management/district/region teams to be as demographically diverse as Augusta. Sales manager meeting = 90% white and male.

    I drank the kool-aid for three years until I was unceremoniously fired. I hate for the company to fail and for so many people to lose their jobs, but I have little sympathy for a shitty company with mostly shitty policies run by shitty people.

    • damageddude says:

      The cashier “scams” is what has kept me away — or at least from visiting as often as I could have over the years. I got tired of all the offers and, worse, being stuck by someone who accepted the offer and had to wait for them to fill out their paperwork.

      But, as movies and music has gone digital, I’ve found I haven’t needed to go in their too often anyway. The last piece of electronic equipment I bought was an external drive that I found cheaper on the net. As I wasn’t in a rush for it, I bought it online.

  35. some.nerd says:

    Nothing to do here….
    *flies away w/jet pac*

  36. Maltboy wanders aimlessly through the Uncanny Valley says:

    Maybe they can copy the Sears model for their new business plan.

  37. savdavid says:

    Looks like he ate the board!

  38. ancientone567 says:

    Thank God. He was a moron!