Steve Smith and Alan Wolf On Nov 5 2012 - 1:00am

Best Buy To Debut New Executive Team Nov. 13

 

MINNEAPOLIS — Best Buy has rescheduled its analyst and investor meeting to Nov. 13, which had to rescheduled to debut its new management team, and will release its fiscal third quarter results on Tuesday, Nov. 20.

The retailer had originally set the analyst and investor meeting on Nov. 1, but it was cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy. It will now be held in Manhattan on Nov. 13 at the Best Buy Theater in Times Square.

The event will be president/CEO Hubert Joly’s first formal appearance before the investment community. Joly plans to share his assessment of the business and areas of focus going forward, and presentations will also be made by other members of the company’s newly formed executive team.

Best Buy reorganized its executive ranks late in October, with the top layer of its U.S. operation being “removed, resulting in a leaner structure intended to improve the company’s agility.” This includes president of Best Buy’s U.S. business, Mike Vitelli, who will retire from the company at the end of the fiscal year.

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

Effective Jan. 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, digital and marketing president, 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, will have no leadership changes.

In this phase of Best Buy’s transformation, these groups will report directly to Joly. Vitelli will retire from the company at the end of the fiscal year and will work closely with Joly to ensure a smooth transition, the statement said. Executive VP of U.S. operations Tim Sheehan will leave the company at the end of the month.

“Shawn Score and Jude Buckley have done a great job growing Best Buy Mobile and then leading the connectivity business group. I look forward to working with them and the rest of our team as we re-invigorate and rejuvenate Best Buy,” said Joly. “Mike Vitelli and I will work closely together during the next few months to ensure a smooth transition. I am very grateful to him for everything he has done for the company and for his terrific support.”

The channel and business group changes will be effective on Jan. 1, 2013, as Best Buy said it will focus more immediately on the holiday selling season. In recent weeks, the company has emphasized a series of initiatives designed to attract more consumers to its e-commerce platforms and physical stores, including offering free shipping. Over the past several months the company has significantly increased its investment to train its sales force to better serve its customers. For the holiday season, Best Buy has also given its sales associates, known as Blue Shirts, the authority to match online prices in key categories.

The chain also updated its expected results for the fiscal third quarter ending Nov. 3, 2012. Comp-store sales are expected to decline at a rate consistent with the range of results for the first two quarters of fiscal 2013 (-5.3 percent in the first quarter and -3.2 percent in the second quarter). Best Buy expects fiscal third quarter adjusted (non-GAAP) earnings per diluted share will be significantly below the prior-year period.

Best Buy plans to release fiscal third-quarter 2013 results on Tuesday, Nov. 20, at 7 a.m. CT and is scheduled to conduct an earnings conference call at 8 a.m. CT on that same day.

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