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Best Buy Elevates Top Execs Mike Mohan And Corie Barry

Promotions appear to lay the groundwork for a succession plan

Best Buy has handed chief financial officer Corie Barry and chief merchandising and marketing officer Mike Mohan new roles and expanded responsibilities.

Mohan, who also held a senior executive VP title, was named COO, the first appointee to the post since former CEO Brian Dunn was named president/COO in 2006. In his new position, Mohan will oversee all customer touchpoints in the U.S., including retail, e-commerce, customer experience, services, home and Best Buy Direct (commercial sales). The former Good Guys VP/GMM will also head stateside category management, merchandising, marketing, supply chain and real estate.

Barry, in turn, was promoted to senior executive VP/chief transformation and finance officer. In addition to her finance duties, Barry will oversee the company’s strategic growth office, its expanding health business, and what chairman/CEO Hubert Joly described on yesterday’s third-quarter earnings call as a newly created transformation team within the digital and technology group.

See: Best Buy Kills It In Q3

In her new role, Barry will be pivotal in transforming Best Buy from a transactional and product-based business to a relationship and solution-oriented organization, Joly said, as outlined in the company’s 2020 strategic plan.

The promotions also appear to lay the groundwork for a succession plan — last year Joly was rumored to be up for the CEO spot at French retail giant Carrefour — and will help close management ranks following the departure last summer of senior executive VP Shari Ballard, who was considered instrumental in executing the company’s turnaround.

Elsewhere during the call, Joly said the first round of Trump administration tariffs on Chinese imports, imposed in September, impacted about 7 percent, or approximately $2.3 billion, of Best Buy’s total cost of goods sold, and was largely limited to accessories. He said their effect would remain minimal for the balance of the company’s fiscal year.

Joly said he’s hopeful that trade negotiations with China will progress as the imposition on Jan. 1 of a higher 25 percent duty nears, but noted that Best Buy and its vendors “have at their disposal a range of effective ways to mitigate the effects of tariffs, which is precisely what we’re working on.”