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Best Buy Co Inc (NYSE:BBY) Not Such A Good Buy After Loss Of Retail Store President

by Fiona Gabriel | Monday, Apr 21, 2014 |
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Boston, MA, 04/21/2014  (usastockreport) –  Best Buy Co Inc (NYSE:BBY) dropped heavily leading up to the three-day weekend on news that Shawn Score, the company’s long-standing president of U.S. retail stores, is retiring. BBY dropped below the 25 level, and it’s a fair bet that the damage is likely to continue going forward unless Best Buy is able to come up with some good news for investors.

Out of Score, and in with Ballard

Shawn Score, a veteran Best Buy executive who has been with the company for almost three decades, was only promoted to president of the unit in the last quarter of 2013, after doing a stint ad head of Best Buy Mobile. The fact that he’s quitting so soon after being named president of retail stores doesn’t bode well for Best Buy, and it doesn’t look good for Score either.

He’s being replaced by Shari Ballard, also a long-time Best Buy executive who is taking on the additional responsibilities of the retail store unit in addition to his current position as head of the company’s HR unit. Again, the fact that Ballard is being forced to do both jobs highlights the unplanned nature of these changes at the top level.

To be fair, Ballard has more than the requisite experience, having served in various positions of responsibility including executive vice president for retail channel management, and president of Americas for Best Buy.

Changes Coming from the Top

It’s fair to say that turmoil at these levels usually filters down from the top, which in this case means CEO Hubert Joly, who was appointed in Aug 2012 after Best Buy was rocked by the loss of the previous CEO Richard Schulze, who was also the company’s chairman and founder. Joly’s turnaround plans didn’t really take off right from the start, and the company’s 2013 holiday season was a disaster.

The executive changes  the company is facing now are likely a blowback from these failed efforts, and it’s likely that it’s going to take a lot more time before Best Buy comes anywhere near to being a good buy on Wall St.


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