OPERATIONS

Best Buy in management shakeup; U.S. unit head to leave

BY Marianne Wilson

Minneapolis — Best Buy on Wednesday announced major changes to its leadership organization. The company is removing the senior-most layer of the U.S. operation is being removed; resulting in what it called “a leaner structure intended to improve the company’s agility.”

“One thing I have learned in helping turn companies around is that a business needs to have a nimble organization,” said Best Buy president and CEO Hubert Joly. “Our new organization will help build a closer connection to our customers and front line employees, as well as accelerate our transformation.”

Effective January 1, 2013, Best Buy’s operations in the U.S. will be structured around the following groups:

  • Two channels — Online and Retail: While online continues to be overseen by Stephen Gillett, president of digital and marketing, Shawn Score is appointed to lead the U.S. retail channel.
  • Three business groups — Connectivity, Home and Services: Jude Buckley is promoted to head the Connectivity Business Group, succeeding Shawn Score, while Home and Services will continue to be led respectively by Mike Mohan and George Sherman.
  • Support functions, including human resources, finance, legal and marketing, where there are no leadership changes.

In this phase of Best Buy’s transformation, these groups will report directly to Joly.

The current president of Best Buy’s U.S. business, Mike Vitelli, will retire from the company at the end of the fiscal year. He will work closely with Joly to ensure a smooth transition. Executive VP of U.S. operations Tim Sheehan will leave the company at the end of the month.

The channel and business group changes will be effective on January 1, 2013, as Best Buy focuses more immediately on the holiday selling season.

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OPERATIONS

Wal-Mart centralizes compliance and legal issues

BY Staff Writer

New York — Wal-Mart Stores said on Wednesday that various staff groups involved in compliance and legal issues will soon all report to its general counsel, Reuters reported. The move comes as the retailer works on coordinating efforts after an alleged foreign bribery scandal.

In a memo sent by CEO Mike Duke, the retailer said that starting on Dec. 1, its compliance, ethics, investigations and legal units will become one organization under executive VP, general counsel and corporate secretary Jeff Gearhart.

Jay Jorgensen will become Wal-Mart’s senior VP and global chief compliance officer, reporting to Gearhart. Most recently, Jorgensen was with the Washington, D.C., law firm Sidley Austin.

Wal-Mart also said on Wednesday that it has already spent more than $30 million on updating its global foreign corrupt practices act and anti-corruption compliance program.

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OPERATIONS

Walgreens creates job opportunities for people with disabilities in Connecticut

BY Staff Writer

Deerfield, Ill. — Nearly one year after launching an initiative to help create more job opportunities for people with disabilities in Connecticut, 62 participants have completed training under the Walgreens Retail Employees with Disabilities Initiative (REDI) program.

The program’s goal is to prepare qualified candidates for employment at Walgreens retail locations, as well as employment with other retailers that require similar skills. Of those who completed training, 17 have already obtained jobs at Walgreens locations throughout Connecticut as the company grows talent and recognizes ability through greater diversity in the workplace.

Walgreens launched REDI in the state on Nov. 1, 2011. The in-store extern training program aims to help people with disabilities gain retail and customer service skills, and works closely with community organizations and vocational rehabilitation agencies to train and develop candidates.

This May, Walgreens launched the REDI program nationally. The first phase of REDI includes parts of Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Wisconsin, with plans to reach all states by the end of 2013.

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