Ex-Best Buy CEO Resigns From 5 Boards in Donations Flap
Former Best Buy CEO Brad Anderson has resigned from the boards of five organizations following a report that he contributed to a nonprofit organization that distributed inflammatory anti-Muslim videos on social media. Minnesota Public Radio says Anderson resigned from its board of directors, as well as General Mills, Waste Management, Carlson and Mayo Clinic. Anderson contributed $25,000 to Secure America Now in 2016, which distributed the videos in question. Anderson said he didn't know about the videos and wouldn't have donated if he had.
Total Retail's Take: This represents an instance where a brand's link to former leadership can put it into crisis management mode. Anderson served as Best Buy’s CEO from 2002 to 2009, and was a member of its board of directors from 2013-2016. He no longer has any official position with the electronics retailer, yet he's linked to Best Buy in the media reports surrounding this story. In fact, due to his high profile in Best Buy's history, the company had an official response to the situation: “Best Buy unequivocally values diversity and religious tolerance, within our company and in the communities in which we work and live.” The moral of this story: corporations need to be prepared to respond to all different types of public relations situations, even those that aren't their own doing.