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Best Buy Names New CEO

20 Aug, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Founder Richard Schulze rejects board’s due diligence offer

Best Buy Co. Aug. 20 named Frenchman Hubert Joly as the consumer electronics retailer’s president, CEO and member of its board of directors.

Joly, who has experience turning companies around across the media, technology and service sectors, replaces interim CEO Mike Mikan, who will continue until Joly’s start date in September. Following that, Mikan will continue to serve on the board, where he will take the position of chairman of the audit committee.

It was the audit committee that in April found former CEO Brian Dunn had exercised poor judgment regarding his personal relationship with a female employee. Dunn resigned prior to audit committee's final report. 

Joly’s resume includes restructuring Vivendi’s video game’s business (now part of Activision Blizzard) from 1999 to 2001, and later oversaw integration of Universal Music and Vivendi’s media assets in the United States in 2002 to 2004. In 2008, he became CEO of Carlson, a global hospitality company headquartered in Minneapolis with brands that include more than 900 T.G.I. Friday’s restaurants and more than 1,000 hotels around the world.

“Hubert was an outstanding candidate for this position and I am confident he will be a great fit for Best Buy,” Hatim Tyabji, chairman of Minneapolis-based retailer’s board, said in a statement. “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.”

Separately, Best Buy said founder and former chairman of the board Richard Schulze rejected its due diligence offer during the weekend, which included access to certain financial, operational and legal information Schulze had requested in order to forward a leveraged buyout of the CE retailer.

Best Buy said its board also proposed that Schulze, beginning in January, be allowed to take his buyout offer to shareholders, should it decide to reject any definitive proposal to acquire shares. But Schulze, who owns 20.1% of Best Buy, rejected the proposal, giving no immediate reason for his rejections of the due diligence offer and buyout timetable.

Best Buy reports second-quarter financial results Aug. 21.

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