OPERATIONS

Best Buy: Search for CEO could take up to nine months

BY Marianne Wilson

Minneapolis — Best Buy announced that it is creating a committee to run a global search for a new CEO to replace Brian Dunn, who resigned on Thursday. The retailer said the search could take six to nine months to complete.

The committee will be headed by Kathy J. Higgins Victor, a board member and chairwoman of Best Buy’s nominating committee. Six search firms will be interviewed and the final search firm partner will be selected in the next few weeks, the chain said in a statement.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune and other media sources reported on Thursday that Best Buy’s audit committee is investigating whether Dunn used company resources to carry on an inappropriate relationship with a female staffer.

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OPERATIONS

IBM to acquire Varicent Software

BY Staff Writer

Armonk, N.Y. — IBM announced a definitive agreement to acquire Varicent Software Inc., Toronto, a leading provider of analytics software for compensation and sales performance management. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Varicent software automates and analyzes the collection and reporting of sales data across finance, sales, human resources and IT departments to gain efficiencies, uncover trends and improve sales performance. The acquisition accelerates IBM’s Smarter Analytics capabilities across line of business operations in all industries, and will be combined with IBM’s existing software offerings that are delivered to clients through on-premise or cloud computing models.

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Nordstrom expands e-commerce edge with second investment

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Seattle — Nordstrom Inc. revealed Thursday that it is leading a $16.4 million investment round in online men’s apparel brand Bonobos. The announcement follows last year’s purchase of online private sale site HauteLook, giving Nordstrom another leg up in the e-commerce arena.

Nordstrom is selling the Bonobos label’s clothing at its stores and online. Bonobos is the largest apparel brand launched on the internet in the United States.

“We understand there are people who still want to touch and feel clothing before they purchase. We realized we needed help expanding beyond our web-only roots,” said Andy Dunn, founder and CEO of Bonobos. “Nordstrom is the leader in retail customer service and they are incredibly innovative,” he added.

Nordstrom’s Internet sales last year grew by 30%, compared to the 13% increase for the total company.

Bonobos at Nordstrom will be the first time the brand is available in-store and online outside Bonobos.com and the company’s New York City headquarters’ showroom store.

Bonobos is “a pioneer in leveraging the Internet to build great relationships with their customers, a common focus of both organizations," said Jamie Nordstrom, president of Nordstrom Direct.

Last March, Nordstrom acquired HauteLook, an online retailer that offers flash sales on top fashion and lifestyle brands. The deal was the first transaction of its kind with a leading fashion specialty retail chain acquiring an online private sale company.

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