Let’s recap. In 2012 (April), former Best Buy CEO, Brian Dunn resigned (abruptly as the Wall Streeters say). The Board concluded that he had “an extremely close personal relationship” with a 29-year-old subordinate at the company that “negatively impacted the work environment.” In May 2012, Best Buy founder and chairman, Richard Schulze resigned (abruptly) after the Board concluded that he was aware of the “extremely close personal relationship” but said nothing to the Board.
Presently, the Board is grappling with the report that came from an anonymous letter. According to the letter, Best Buy’s current CEO, Corie Barry, had a romantic relationship with former Best Buy Senior Vice President, Karl Sanft. The relationship occurred before Ms. Barry wasnamed CEO. Mr. Sanft no longer works at Best Buy, having moved along to the chief operating officer position at 24 Hour Fitness Worldwide.
The Board assures that “Best Buy takes allegations of misconduct very seriously.” A law firm is now conducting an independent review.
Now if we could just get Best Buy executives to take misconduct seriously, preferably before engaging in it. We have not had back-to-back allegations such as this since Phil Condit left Boeing under a cloud of inappropriate relationships. Mr. Condit was replaced by Harry Stonecipher who then left Boeing for having an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate.
The Barometer offers the same question proffered each time these”relationships” percolate: How do these people find the time for this stuff? Private jets to maximize their time use. Executive assistants do their scheduling. Communications folks writing their speeches. These are busy people. Maybe. As the saying goes: Idle hands are the devil’s workshop. Or is it playground?