- Gentlemen, start your drones: Judge’s ruling opens door for commercial use
- Soldier who hid, bragged about not saluting flag to be punished — in secret
- ‘Maverick’ of the seas: ‘Top Gun’ school for U.S. ship officers to launch
- Putin declares Sochi Paralympics open amid Ukrainian protest
- ‘In Jesus name, we pray’ sparks ire at Ohio council meeting
- Navy’s first laser weapon ready for prime time; drone killer to deploy this summer
- Billionaire backer: Rick Santorum ‘needs to be heard’ in 2016
- Obamacare fallout: 49 percent pessimistic; 45 percent ‘scared’
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
Best Buy CEO resigns amid internal investigation
Best Buy released a statement late Tuesday saying that it is conducting the probe after earlier only saying the departure was a “mutual decision.” The chain would not give any specifics on the circumstances surrounding the investigation of Dunn, a 28-year Best Buy veteran who had been CEO since 2009.
“Certain issues were brought to the board’s attention regarding Dunn’s personal conduct, unrelated to the company’s operations or financial controls, and an audit committee investigation was initiated,” according to a company statement issued late Tuesday. “Prior to the completion of the investigation, Mr. Dunn chose to resign.”
Dunn, who started his career at Best Buy as a sales clerk in the 1980s, could not be reached for comment about the investigation. But earlier on Tuesday, the 50-year-old said in a statement that he was leaving Best Buy poised “for a strong future.”
Best Buy Co. hasn’t disclosed the terms of Dunn’s severance package. But Dunn’s annual compensation for fiscal 2010, the latest figures available, was worth about $5 million _ half of what it was in the prior fiscal year.
The resignation adds to Best Buy’s mounting problems. Up until a few years ago, the nation’s largest consumer electronics retailer was the place Americans went to grab TVs and cameras. But the chain has suffered in the economic downturn and has been widely criticized for not being quick to respond to growing competition and the changing shopping habits of Americans.
While industry watchers had been calling for changes at Best Buy, news of the investigation didn’t sit well with Wall Street. On the news of the probe, Best Buy’s shares fell almost 6 percent, or $1.33, to close at $21.32, after initially climbing higher on news of Dunn’s departure. Best Buy’s shares have lost more than half of their value since April 2006, when they were trading at $56.66 per share.
Best Buy said Tuesday that board member Mike Mikan, 39, will serve as interim CEO while the company searches for Dunn’s permanent replacement. A new CEO will face a big challenge trying to usher Best Buy into a new era.
Sales of TVs, digital cameras and video game consoles _ once the bread-and-butter of Best Buy _ have weakened, while sales of lower margin items like tablet computers, smartphones and e-readers have increased. Adding to that, people increasingly use the stores of big-box retailers like Best Buy as showrooms to browse for products and then go online to Amazon.com and other sites to buy items at lower prices.
Best Buy, based in Minneapolis, was expected to benefit from the liquidation of the company’s main competitor Circuit City, which was overcome by growing competition in 2009. But instead, the company has continued to struggle even in the absence of its rival.
Best Buy’s revenue at stores opened at least a year _ a key measure because it excludes results from stores that open and close within the year _ has declined in three of the past four years. In the most recent fiscal year ended March 3, the figure fell 1.7 percent. That’s on top of a 1.8 percent decline in the prior fiscal year.
The chain also lost $1.23 billion, or $3.36 per share, in the most recent fiscal year. That compares with a profit of $1.28 billion, or $3.08 per share, in the prior year
“Best Buy’s operational strategy has been way off the mark and late to address the fundamental industry upheaval,” Sozzi, the analyst at NBG Productions, said. “Big-box stores can’t be fixed. They have to be re-invented.”
Best Buy, which has 1,400 U.S. stores, has been trying to revamp its business. In the past few years, the company has cut its square footage by 15 percent in about 43 stores. It did that by either subletting the space to other merchants or giving it back to the landlords.
TWT Video Picks
Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Rand Paul wins 2014 CPAC straw poll, Ted Cruz finishes a distant second
- U.S. deploys 12 F-16 fighter jets to Poland as exercise in response to Ukraine situation
- High schooler suing parents for money shot down by judge
- Senate Democrats, Republicans spar over restoring unemployment benefits
- Six Senate seats could hinge on Keystone pipeline
- Russias Putin nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
- Italy outraged over U.S. gun dealer's 'David' ad
- CURL: The modern GOP really is Reagan's 'Big Tent' party
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again