Best Buy loses two board direc­tors

The Pak Banker - - 6BUSINESS -

Best Buy Co Inc said that two of its board direc­tors had re­signed, in­clud­ing one of its for­mer chief ex­ec­u­tives, almost seven months after its founder, who is now mount­ing a bid for the strug­gling re­tailer, left the board. The de­par­tures will leave Best Buy with four va­can­cies on its 11-mem­ber board.

The company's for­tunes have fal­tered as con­sumers in­creas­ingly use its big box stores as show­rooms for prod­ucts they end up buy­ing on­line at Ama­ Inc and othe

Best Buy said that G. Mike Mikan, who served as in­terim CEO be­tween April and Septem­ber 2012 after for­mer chief Brian Dunn was found to have had an im­proper re­la­tion­ship with a fe­male em­ployee, had stepped down from the board ef­fec­tive im­me­di­ately.

Mikan left to be­come pres­i­dent of Ed­ward Lam­pert's hedge fund ESL In­vest­ments Inc. Bil­lion­aire Lam­pert is the chair­man of another re­tailer, Sears Hold­ings Corp, which he con­trols and is em­barked on a turn­around cam­paign. "Mike's back­ground fits with our strat­egy and he will be a great as­set to me and to ESL's port­fo­lio com­pa­nies," Lam­pert said in a state­ment. Mikan's main cor­po­rate stint was at Unit­edHealth Group Inc, where he spent 14 years and served as ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent and chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer, as well as CEO of its Op­tum sub­sidiary. He be­came a Best Buy. Mikan was at the helm of Best Buy when Richard Schulze, its for­mer chair­man and founder, lost his chair­man­ship after he was held re­spon­si­ble for fail­ing to no­tify the board about al­le­ga­tions against his pro­tégé Dunn. Schulze re­signed as board mem­ber in June.

In Au­gust, Schulze in­formed the board that he was in­ter­ested in team­ing up with pri­vate eq­uity part­ners to buy the company but he has yet to ta­ble a solid of­fer and now faces a Fe­bru­ary 28 bid dead­line. Schulze re­mains Best Buy's largest share­holder with about one-fifth of the company's out­stand­ing shares but the company is now led by turn­around ex­pert Hu­bert Joly, who was tapped as CEO to come up with a new re­struc­tur­ing plan. The sec­ond de­par­ture an­nounced was ex­pected. Matthew Paull, who had served on the board since 2008, will re­tire from the board in April 2013. Paull stepped down as CFO of McDon­ald's Corp in 2008. Best Buy's rules dic­tate that a di­rec­tor must re­tire five years after he stops pur­su­ing the pri­mary ca­reer he or she was en­gaged in when ap­pointed to the board. Nei­ther Paull nor Mikan in­di­cated that they were re­sign­ing due to any dis­agree­ments with Best Buy's man­age­ment, the company said. The fourth vacancy on Best Buy's board dates back to June, when Ro­ge­lio Re­bolledo left to also com­ply with the company's re­tire­ment pol­icy.

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