Best Buy names chief executive of Carlson as new CEO

Minneapolis -- Best Buy Co. has named Hubert Joly, the former chief executive of global hospitality company Carlson, as the chain's new CEO and president. Carlson, which operates such businesses as Radisson and T.G.I Friday's, announced Sunday that Joly resigned from that company.

Joly, who is French, is expected to take over as CEO in early September when his visa is secured. In announcing the appointment, Best Buy described Joly as a “leading global CEO with expertise in turnaround and growth across the media, technology and service sectors.”

“Hubert was an outstanding candidate for this position and I am confident he will be a great fit for Best Buy,” said Hatim Tyabji, chairman of the Best Buy Board. “Hubert’s range and depth of experience in transforming companies is exactly what the company needs at the moment, as is his energetic, imaginative and experienced leadership in executing strategies.”

Joly succeeds Mike Mikan, a board member who has served as interim CEO since April when former CEO Brian Dunn left Best Buy because of what the company called an improper relationship with a female employee.

The news about the appointment comes amid mounting drama between Best Buy’s board and the chain’s founder and former chairman, Richard Schulze, who wants to take the company private. On Sunday, Best Buy said its board had offered Schulze the opportunity to conduct “due diligence” on the company’s non-public financial information, but that Schulze had declined.

On Monday, Schulze said in a statement that he was “disappointed and surprised” by the abrupt termination of discussions.

“The board initially proposed an 18 month standstill, which was completely unacceptable in light of the fact that urgent change is needed at Best Buy and value is eroding further every day that change is not effected,” Schulze said. “… I am shocked by this course of action but as the largest shareholder of Best Buy, I remain hopeful that the board will engage in good faith discussions with us for the benefit of shareholders, employees and customers. Time is of the essence, and it is imperative that shareholders’ interests are not further jeopardized.”

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