Best Buy Founder Richard Schulze To Return To The Company As Chairman Emeritus
In May 2012, Best Buy co-founder Richard Schulze stepped down from the company he founded in Minnesota back in 1966. Schulze stepped down because he knew about an inappropriate relationship between the CEO at the time (Brian Dunn) and a female employee. Schulze did not alert an audit committee. After stepping down, Schulze talked to numerous private equity companies as part of a plan to take the company private. Now Schulze is returning to Best Buy according to a statement from the company. Schulze did not end up submitting a formal offer to buy out the company.
So what is Schulze’s new position? He will be the chairman emeritus going forward. Schulze also nominated tow former Best Buy executives to join the company’s board of directors. Former Best Buy CEO Brad Anderson and former COO Al Lenzmeier was nominated. Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly will retain his position at the company.
“I am delighted our Founder, Dick Schulze, is returning to the company as its Chairman Emeritus. 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,” said Joly. “I look forward to his engagement as we move forward. I am also delighted to have Brad and Al join our Board and to have the company benefit from their experience and wisdom.”
Joly’s background is in helping companies turn around and get fixed. Some of the changes that he made at Best Buy involved a round of job cuts and the ending of the “Results Only Work Environment” (ROWE). ROWE let employees work from anywhere they wanted, but was required to get their jobs done. Joly also instilled a price-matching initiative to cease “showrooming.” Showrooming is when a consumer walks into a Best Buy or other electronics store and finds deals on the Internet for the same product.