Spotlight On... Brian Dunn; Former chief executive, Best Buy


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The Independent Online

Dunn by name...

Dunn by nature, in the sense that his 28-year career at Best Buy is done. The hulking Minnesotan quit as chief executive yesterday, in mysterious circumstances, after less than three years in the top job at America's largest electrics retailer.

Mysterious circumstances?

According to reports last night, he stood down after the board began an investigation into his "personal conduct". No word on what that means, though Best Buy said it was "unrelated to the company's operations or financial controls".

A shock, for sure.

Just this weekend, he was on Facebook with pictures of an Easter Bunny visit to his local Best Buy, and wishing a store staff member luck on a posting to Afghanistan. And quoting Easter verses from the Bible.

Wasn't he one of the more forward-thinking bosses in retail?

Well, he certainly embraced all the new tech. Jetlagged on a trip to London, he would Skype with his three boys back home while they watched an NBA basketball game on the internet together.

Long time, 28 years.

His resignation was emotional for many board members, we hear. He started on the shop floor when Best Buy had just a dozen stores. His mother had been one of its earliest employees. He proved himself a handy salesman and worked his way up the ranks.

And he'd survived that debacle in the UK, too.

He inherited the joint venture with Carphone Warehouse and plans to launch 100 big box stores in the UK, but the botched launch and spiralling losses were certainly on his watch. Tail between legs, last year Best Buy shut the 11 stores it did open.

So what now?

"You're never as good as they say or as bad as they say," he said in a 2009 interview. We'll see. There's obviously more to come out, so watch this space.