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New Best Buy CEO To See Hefty Payday

Minneapolis – Hubert Joly will receive over $30 million in signing bonuses and other incentives to assume the corner office at Best Buy.

According to an 8-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Tuesday, the “buy-out awards,” which are in addition to his annual base salary of nearly $1.2 million, are intended to compensate Joly for income he forfeits by leaving the top post at Carlson, the corporate parent of the Radisson hotel and T.G.I. Friday’s restaurant chains.

The compensation package also includes two contingency payouts: $6.3 million should Joly, a French national, be unable to obtain a work visa; and twice his salary and target bonus, plus a pro-rated annual bonus, should the company come under new ownership, ostensibly by founder and would-be black knight Dick Schulze.

Some observers are criticizing Best Buy for what they see as an overly generous compensation package with insufficient incentives, especially given Joly’s lack of retail experience. The criticisms recall complaints last spring over former CEO Brian Dunn’s $6.6 million severance payout, and retention bonuses worth $2.5 million that were awarded to four top execs, including president U.S. Mike Vitelli and CFO Jim Muehlbauer, to stay on for at least one year following the placement of a new CEO.