Hubert Joly, Best Buy CEO
It has been a tough couple of years for Best Buy (BBY), which has seen its sales gutted by e-tailers like Amazon (AMZN). BBY shares plummeted after former CEO Brian Dunn left amid allegations of an improper relationship with a female employee; Chairman Richard Schulze’s attempt to take the consumer electronics firm private short-circuited.
Enter Joly, whose reputation as a turnaround artist was on display at Vivendi Universal Games and in the French unit of what is now Hewlett-Packard’s (HPQ) EDS.
But Joly didn’t simply settle in at the top: he donned a blue shirt, hit the sales floor at BBY’s stores in Minnesota and started learning the retail business from the ground up.
His strategic about-face to embrace the big-box stores as a strength and to cut partnership deals with Microsoft (MSFT) and Samsung (SSNLF) for product boutiques inside the stores has stemmed the erosion in same-store sales. However, investors likely were less impressed when Joly sold some $17 million in BBY stock this week to help pay for his divorce.