Spotlight On... Brian Dunn; Former chief executive, Best Buy
Stephen Foley is a former Associate Business Editor of The Independent, based in New York. He left in August 2012. In a decade at the paper, he covered personal finance, the UK stock market and the pharmaceuticals industry, and had also been the Business section's share tipster. Between arriving with three suitcases in Manhattan in January 2006 and his departure, he witnessed and reported on a great economic boom turning spectacularly to bust. In March 2009, he was named Business and Finance Journalist of the Year at the British Press Awards.
Wednesday 11 April 2012
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.
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.
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