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Best Buy Promotes Gilbert To Head Female Market Efforts

7/19/2007 10:02:00 AM Eastern

Minneapolis — Best Buy’s retail training chief Julie Gilbert has been given added responsibility for overseeing the company’s strategy to increase its market share with female consumers.

The big-box specialty chain estimates that females control about $68 billion of the U.S. consumer electronics market.

Gilbert, who was promoted to senior VP, will continue to lead Best Buy’s retail training and leadership development functions, and will maintain her role as head of the company’s women’s leadership forum (WOLF), an employee resource group that promotes innovation. Gilbert continues to report to Tim Sheehan, customer experience creation senior VP.

Best Buy's Julie Gilbert

“Julie’s passion to significantly grow this company is evident in solid business results and contagious leadership which has remarkably motivated tens of thousands of employees to make their mark on Best Buy and innovate the business,” Sheehan said. “She has helped us grow the bottom line by significantly reducing female employee turnover and developing a stronger pipeline of high-potential leaders within the company. Moving forward, we expect Julie’s drive to help grow market share, increase revenue, increase employee retention, enrich the diversity of our employee base and empower our employee innovation engine.”

Through Gilbert’s leadership in WOLF, the company has increased the number of female job applicants by 37 percent and reduced female employee turnover by 5.7 percent, Best Buy said.

Gilbert has held numerous roles with the chain, which she joined seven years ago from Deloitte & Touche. As customer centricity VP, she led the creation and partnership for Best Buy’s Magnolia Home Theatre store-within-a-store concept, and as alliance development director she created and implemented several strategic relationships with key partners including Virgin Mobile, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard and Sony.

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