Best Buy says it is reviewing allegations made against CEO

Marco Green
January 19, 2020

Best Buy said it is investigating CEO Corie Barry after receiving an anonymous letter that made allegations against her.

Best Buy's leadership has faced allegations of misconduct in the past as well. "Upon the receipt of an anonymous letter containing allegations against our CEO, the Audit Committee of the Board immediately retained outside counsel, Sidley Austin LLP, to conduct an independent review that is ongoing".

The allegations were sent to the board in an anonymous letter dated December 7.

Best Buy is one of just a few old-school retailers to thrive in the face of Amazon, and its also holding its own against retail powerhouses like Walmart and Target. We encourage the letter's author to come forward and be part of that confidential process.

Barry said the board will have her "full cooperation and support" during the review.

The company said it would not comment further until the investigation was concluded.

She joined Best Buy as a financial analyst almost 20 years ago.

An anonymous December 7 letter sent to the company's board alleges that Barry had a romantic relationship with former senior VP Karl Sanft before she became CEO, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday afternoon. Ms. Barry became a senior vice president in the finance operation in 2013.

Barry, who became CEO of Best Buy Co. six months ago, replaced Hubert Joly after he stepped down and took on the role of executive chairman.

The company declined to reveal the contents of the letter. Before taking over as CEO, she served as the company's chief financial and strategic transformation officer.

Mr. Joly's predecessor as CEO resigned abruptly in April 2012 after the board opened an investigation into his personal conduct. The company was exploring whether he misused company assets in the course of an alleged relationship with a female subordinate, the Journal reported at the time. Best Buy shares, which had jumped as much as 2.2% earlier in the day, sold off in the final minutes to close 1% higher.

The Wall Street Journal first reported news of the board's investigation in an article posted minutes before the stock market closed.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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