Best Buy’s First Female CEO Corie Barry On Her New Leadership Role

By Amit Chowdhry ● Apr 19, 2019

Photo: Corie Barry (left) and Hubert Joly (right)

Earlier this week, electronics retail giant Best Buy announced a major shift in management. Best Buy’s board of directors have elected Corie Barry — the company’s current CFO and Strategic Transformation Officer — to become CEO effective following the company’s annual meeting of shareholders on June 11, 2019. Barry will be joining Best Buy’s board of directors — which will be expanded to 13 people. This also means Barry is becoming Best Buy’s fifth CEO in its 53-year history and is also the company’s first female CEO.

At the same time, Best Buy’s current Chairman and CEO Hubert Joly is going to transition to the newly created role of Executive Chairman of the Board. And Best Buy’s current U.S. COO Mike Mohan is going to be promoted to president and COO of the company. An internal and external search will be conducted for a new CFO.

Joly first joined Best Buy in 2012 and led the company towards a customer-focused Renew Blue transformation — which improved customer satisfaction, increased market share, and improved margins. Two years ago, Joly introduced Best Buy 2020: Building the New Blue — which is the company’s growth strategy focused on enriching lives through technology. This year, Best Buy delivered on its fiscal 2021 revenue and non-GAAP operating income targets two years ahead of schedule. And the company also returned $2 billion to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases. Joly is going to continue leading the board of directors and advise and support Barry on key matters like strategy and M&A.

“I am deeply honored to have been selected as Best Buy’s next CEO and look forward to working closely with Hubert, our Board, and the exceptional Best Buy family to continue the momentum we have been able to achieve,” said Barry in a statement. “Today’s technology and consumer landscape creates tremendous opportunities for Best Buy to further expand and deepen relationships with our customers and employees, while continuing to deliver shareholder value.”

Barry joined Best Buy in 1999 and worked on strategic transformation and growth, global finance, digital and technology, investor relations, enterprise risk and compliance, and Best Buy Health including GreatCall. Prior to joining Best Buy, Barry worked at Deloitte & Touche and received bachelor’s degrees in accounting and management from the College of Saint Benedict where she also serves on the board of trustees. Barry is also on the board of directors for Domino’s Pizza.

Joly has been a CEO for the past 15-20 years. And he said that a CEO is not a full-time job, but it is an “all-the-time” job. Currently, Joly has a daughter who lives in Paris and a son who lives in Dubai and just had a baby girl in December. Since Joly is now a grandfather, he acknowledged that he needed more balance in his personal life.

“I am from Minnesota originally, and I grew up with the Sound of Music, and I grew up buying tapes and records. My grandparents would take me, and I would spend time feeding my love of music at the Sound of Music which became Best Buy. I’ve always loved this company and, starting my career here 20 years ago, I never could have known what my path would look like. But I have been incredibly fortunate… When this opportunity (to be CEO) came up, I could not have been more honored and humbled by the idea that I would have a chance to influence the next roles that we all fulfill,” Barry added in a company blog post.

While transitioning in the new role, Barry said that there are several things important to her. This includes continuity and having Hubert literally across the hall and having an exceptional leadership team ensures of that. Barry also said that the chance to really work as a team and make strategic decisions that are only made better with great teammates is important.

“There’s a large Best Buy family out there that is ready to charge any hill, based on my experience, and that is our most compelling asset. It gives me such pride and excitement to be able to step into the role with that as the backdrop,” Barry explained. “Having sat in a multitude of chairs, I have a deep respect for the talent, skills and assets that others throughout the organization bring. And it means I often like to reach out to other places to better inform decision-making.”