By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Minneapolis — Best Buy and its founder Dick Schulze announced today that he is returning to the company as its chairman emeritus, almost a year after he exited the retailer as its chairman.
In addition, Schulze has nominated former CEO Brad Anderson and former president Al Lenzmeier to serve on the Best Buy board, pursuant to a previously disclosed agreement between the chain and Schulze.
Last spring Schulze left the board in the aftermath of an investigation of then-CEO Brian Dunn using company funds while having an inappropriate relationship with a female employee. The report showed that Schulze failed to report that to the board.
Schulze left the board later in the year and then attempted a deal to take Best Buy under private control, which failed on Feb. 28.
In a prepared statement today, Schulze said, “Over the past several months, I have come to know and respect Hubert [Joly, CEO of Best Buy] and have a high regard for the work he and his executive team are doing to revitalize Best Buy for the benefit of all stakeholders.”
He added, “My dedication to the company that I founded and love is unwavering and, together with Hubert and the board, I determined that the best way to support Best Buy would be to return in support of the initiatives I determined that the best way to support Best Buy would be to return in support of the initiatives underway.”
“At the same time, it is a great privilege to nominate to the Board two longtime colleagues, Brad Anderson and Al Lenzmeier, who helped build Best Buy into what it is today and will continue adding great value in their new role,” Schulze added.
Hatim Tyabji, chairman of Best Buy’s board, said, “The board has full confidence in Hubert and the management team, and is entirely supportive of the company’s Renew Blue transformation efforts. My fellow board members and I are pleased to welcome Dick back to the company as chairman emeritus and are confident that the role he will play in support of the management team can only accelerate the progress that Best Buy has already made.”
Joly said, “I am delighted our founder, Dick Schulze, is returning to the company as its chairman emeritus. His passion, wisdom and insight are legendary, and I know I speak for all my colleagues when I say it was wonderful to see him come to our headquarters recently and engage with employees as he and I walked the halls. I look forward to his engagement as we move forward. I am also delighted to have Brad and Al join our Board and to have the company benefit from their experience and wisdom.”
Anderson and Lenzmeier join the Best Buy board of directors, effective immediately. They will stand for election at the company’s annual shareholder meeting in June 2013.
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