New Best Buy leader promises 'stronger' future

Best Buy
Best Buy store in West St. Paul, Minn. The interim CEO at Best Buy is trying to reassure employees that the company will emerge from a recent scandal "stronger and better."
MPR File Photo/Nikki Tundel

The interim CEO at Best Buy is trying to reassure employees that the company will emerge from a recent scandal "stronger and better."

In a video for Best Buy employees, Mike Mikan called this the most difficult period in the retailer's history.

His predecessor, Brian Dunn, stepped down amid allegations of an inappropriate relationship with a female subordinate. An investigation into the matter also prompted founder Richard Schulze to step aside as Chairman.

Mikan's video was posted on an in-house employee website this morning.

Mikan said the Best Buy community needs time to recover from the changes. But he pledged an immediate focus on the company's business, which has been flagging. Best Buy lost money in its last fiscal year.

"As interim CEO, I want to assure everyone that I'm personally focused on running this company and doing the best job possible," Mikan said. "That is my first and last responsibility. I'm working intensely with leadership team on a long-term plan that will position Best Buy to compete in a much broader and deeper marketplace."

MPR News is Reader Funded

Before you keep reading, take a moment to donate to MPR News. Your financial support ensures that factual and trusted news and context remain accessible to all.

A Best Buy spokesman says the long-term plan goes beyond a major restructuring announced in March. The company has not set a release date for the new plan.

In the video, Mikan also offered praise for Schulze, who steps down at the annual meeting June, though he'll remain on the board for another year. Mikan praised Schulze as an "innovative leader."

"His decision to step away should not and will not obscure his many achievements and the legacy he leaves behind as founder of Best Buy," Mikan said.

Mikan added that Schulze's replacement, Hatim Tyabji, is "a long-time member of the board who has deep experience in the technology world so important to Best Buy and our future plans."