Best Buy said on Monday that Corie Barry, the company’s chief financial and strategic transformation officer, will become its new CEO, effective June 11. Barry will be the first woman ever to serve in this role. In addition, she will join Best Buy's board of directors, which will expand to 13 directors. Hubert Joly, who is currently Best Buy’s board chairman and CEO, will become executive chairman of the board, a newly created position, the company said. As part of the transition, Mike Mohan, the current U.S. chief operating officer, will be promoted to president and chief operating officer.
According to Best Buy, these changes reflect the board’s "ongoing succession planning process and are designed to provide leadership continuity as the company continues to execute its strategic growth initiatives." As for choosing Barry to lead the company, Joly said in a statement, “Corie has played a critical role in developing and executing the proven growth strategy in place today, and I'm confident she has the vision, skills, experience and leadership capabilities necessary to be our CEO."
Total Retail's Take: Best Buy has enjoyed a nice turnaround since Joly joined the company in 2012. Over the past four years, annual earnings per share have nearly doubled. Same-store sales comparisons have risen for eight consecutive quarters. And perhaps most importantly, Joly has changed the mind-set of the company: instead of selling electronics, he suggested that Best Buy will help to fulfill customers’ needs through technology. As such, he has put more of an emphasis on in-home adviser services, a new health care monitoring business, and the technology and staffing to allow people to shop the way they want, whether it's in-store or online.
However, all good things must come to an end, and according to an interview in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Joly would like to slow down a bit. And he's doing something a great leader does: staying on board in a different capacity so he's available to advise and support Barry on key matters during the transition period. And Barry, whose current responsibilities include strategic transformation and growth, digital and technology, global finance, investor relations, enterprise risk and compliance, integration management, appears to be the right person for the job. (Note: Barry is speaking at this month's Women in Retail Leadership Summit, produced by Total Retail's sister brand, Women in Retail Leadership Circle.)