Report: Best Buy pay consultant quits over retention bonuses

Minneapolis -- A Tuesday report by Bloomberg said that Best Buy compensation consultant Don Delves resigned after Best Buy awarded more than 100 managers retention bonuses that weren’t tied to performance.

Citing people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reported that Delves – who is president of Chicago-based Delves Group and was retained by the Best Buy board -- was strongly opposed to the payments.  He has worked with the retailer’s compensation committee for seven years as an independent consultant.

CFO James Muehlbauer and U.S head Michael Vitelli are said to be among executives awarded extra pay as incentive to stay while Best Buy seeks a replacement for CEO Brian Dunn. Best Buy said the incentive pay is “intended to ensure leadership continuity,” according to an e-mailed statement to Bloomberg.

Muehlbauer and Vitelli, along with international president Shari Ballard and HR head Carol Surface, were in line to get lump-sum cash payments of $500,000 each. The executives also were to receive $2 million in restricted stock as part of the bonus plan. Planned bonus packages for more than 100 other Best Buy managers were structured similarly, said Bloomberg’s sources.

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