Best Buy founder and chairman Richard “Dick” Schulze has been named to the 2007 CE Hall of Fame.
Schulze joins 10 other inductees, including Dr. Amar Bose, founder of Bose Corp., Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft; John McDonald, former president of Casio USA; Steve Sasson, the Kodak executive who developed the digital camera; and retailer William Crutchfield, founder of consumer direct retailer Crutchfield. The honorees will be formally inducted at CEA’s annual awards dinner, to be held during the trade group’s Industry Forum running Oct. 14-17 in San Diego.
“We are pleased to honor Dick Schulze through election to our industry’s Hall of Fame,” said CEA president/CEO Gary Shapiro. “He has changed the face of retailing and made it easy for consumers to find and enjoy technology. He also is a ‘giver’ and helped us launch CEA’s first CEO Summit in 1997.”
The 2007 class of the CE Hall of Fame also includes the late attorney James Edward Day, who represented the CE industry in the landmark Betamax case; the team of Karlheinz Brandenburg, Dr. Dieter Seitzer and Dr. Heinz Gerhauser, who oversaw the development of the MP3 digital music format at the Fraunhofer Institute in Erlangen, Germany; and the late Art Weinberg, a journalist who reported on the industry.
Schulze founded Best Buy forerunner Sound of Music in 1966. By the early 1980s the audio specialty chain expanded into video products and appliances, and adopted the name Best Buy in 1983. With Schulze at the helm, Best Buy pioneered a new superstore concept that placed all inventory on the sales floor and featured non-commissioned product specialists, changing the face of CE retailing.