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Best Buy to Lay Off 650 Geek Squad Employees

6 Jul, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Best Buy Co. July 6 said it will cut 650 employees nationwide from its in-home Geek Squad technology service unit by the end of the month.

Minneapolis-based Best Buy told local media outlets the cuts are part of more than 2,400 staff reductions being carried out as it shutters 50 big box stores in an effort to cut expenses.

According to reports by Twin Cities television station KARE-11 and The Pioneer Press, the cuts amount to two employees per store, with the Geek Squad eliminations taking effect Aug. 1 unless affected personnel can find positions in other departments.

“We are working to minimize the impact of the changes to store employees, while building a foundation for a strong future, Best Buy spokesman Bruce Hight told the Press.

Meanwhile, Robert Stephens, who founded Geek Squad and sold it to Best Buy 10 years ago, has left the company.

Best Buy is aggressively trying to turnaround its fiscal future — one that is under siege from online retailers such as Amazon and discount behemoth Walmart.

The retailer, which earlier this year saw CEO Brian Dunn abruptly resign following an internal investigation involving improper conduct with a female employee, reportedly has founder Richard Schulz actively seeking to acquire it through a leverage buyout. Schulze, who owns 20.1% of Best Buy, resigned his chairman position after being rebuked by the board for not informing it of Dunn’s transgressions.

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