Business

Best Buy decides to keep its CEO following misconduct investigation

Posted February 4, 2020 4:59 p.m. EST

— Best Buy's CEO Corie Barry will keep her job after the board investigated misconduct allegations against her. The investigation has concluded, the audit committee of the company's board of directors said Tuesday.

The Best Buy board launched the review just over two weeks ago after it received an anonymous letter containing the allegations.

On Tuesday, the board committee said in the statement it "supports the continued leadership of the Company by Ms. Barry."

"The Board takes allegations of misconduct seriously regardless of who is the subject," it said. "When the Board received an anonymous letter regarding Corie Barry, the Audit Committee immediately retained outside legal counsel, Sidley Austin LLP, to conduct an independent review. Ms. Barry fully cooperated with the review, which has now concluded ... To preserve the confidentiality and integrity of the process, the Board will have no further comment."

Best Buy has declined to detail what claims were made in the letter. But the Wall Street Journal, which reviewed the letter, reported the letter alleged that Barry had an inappropriate romantic relationship with a fellow executive before she took over as chief executive last June.

Barry, a longtime Best Buy executive, is one of a small handful of women who lead Fortune 500 companies. Before taking over as CEO, she served as the company's chief financial and strategic transformation officer.

"I appreciate the Board's support and look forward to continuing to execute on our strategic vision to Build the New Blue: Chapter Two," Barry said in an emailed statement Tuesday.

Best Buy is one of just a few old-school retailers to thrive in the face of Amazon, and it is also holding its own against retail powerhouses like Walmart and Target.

Former chief executive Hubert Joly helped steer the company through upheaval in retail by beefing up customer service and turning stores into modern-looking showrooms. When Barry took over last year, it was widely seen as a reflection of the retailer's pivot to services.

Barry oversaw the company's recent push into offering technology help at customers' homes and connected health care for aging Americans, part of the company's turnaround strategy as foot traffic falls in physical retail stores.

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