Richard Schulze Returns as Best Buy Chairman Emeritus25 Mar, 2013 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Founder rejoins board along with two nominees, including former CEO Brad Anderson and Al Lenzmeier
Richard Schulze, who founded Best Buy in 1966 when it was called Sound of Music, is rejoining the consumer electronics chain’s board as chairman emeritus after abandoning plans to take the company private through a leveraged buyout.
Schulze resigned from the board as chairman last year after being rebuked for not disclosing his knowledge of an improper relationship between then CEO Brian Dunn and a female employee.
Joining Schulze on the board is former CEO Brad Anderson and former director Al Lenzmeier. Schulze has pledged to work with current CEO Hubert Joly, who is currently spearheading ongoing internal restructuring.
Indeed, Best Buy is struggling to regain the narrative in how consumers buy electronics and household appliances — markets increasingly impacted by lower-cost online competitors.
“Over the past several months, I have come to know and respect Hubert, and have a high regard for the work he and his executive team are doing to revitalize Best Buy for the benefit of all stakeholders,” Schulze said in a statement. “My dedication to the company that I founded and love is unwavering and, together with Hubert and the board, I am determined that the best way to support Best Buy would be to return in support of the initiatives under way.”
After seeing it stock plummet more than 40% since last year, the CE chain is seeing a bit of turnaround on Wall Street. Credit Suisse, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Barclays have all raised their earnings estimates for Best Buy based on the ongoing results spearheaded by Joly.
The CEO said he is “delighted” Schulze is returning to the company.
“His passion, wisdom and insight are legendary, and I know I speak for all my colleagues when I say it was wonderful to see him come to our headquarters recently and engage with employees as he and I walked the halls,” Joly said in a statement. “I am also delighted to have Brad and Al join our board and to have the company benefit from their experience and wisdom.”