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Schulze Steps Down As Best Buy CEO

EDEN PRAIRIE, MINN. — Best Buy founder Dick Schulze has stepped down as CEO, turning over his duties to long-time company executive Brad Anderson.

Schulze founded the chain in 1966 with a single audio store in St. Paul, Minn., from which he built an international chain of 1,900 stores with annual sales of $20 billion. Schulze said his decision to hand over the reins to Anderson was to give him more time to pursue personal interests. He will remain chairman of the board and promised to be active in the company’s development.

“This decision enables me to direct more of my energy to personal interests, while ensuring that the company I founded 35 years ago remains as vigorous in the future as it is today. I am highly confident that the company’s record of top-quartile achievement will continue under the leadership of Brad Anderson and our talented management team,” Schulze said in a written statement.

Prior to his promotion to CEO, Anderson held the posts of vice chairman, president and chief operating officer. He began his career at Best Buy in 1973 as a sales associate and store manager.

Taking over as president and COO is Allen Lenzmeier. He will oversee all of the company’s brands, including Best Buy, Future Shop, Magnolia Hi-Fi, Sam Goody and Suncoast. Lenzmeier had been president of Best Buy Stores, and was succeeded by Mike Keskey, formerly executive VP/retail sales. Keskey in turn was succeeded by Brian Dunn, formerly senior VP of one of Best Buy’s three retail sales divisions.

Also assigned to new roles were:

  • Phil Schoonover, formerly executive VP/digital solutions, to executive VP/business development, reporting to Anderson;
  • John Walden, formerly president of, to executive VP/human capital and leadership, a new position, also reporting to Anderson;
  • Mike Linton, formerly senior VP/strategic marketing, to executive VP/consumer and brand marketing, and chief marketing officer for the company’s seven brands, reporting to Lenzmeier.