The founder and board chairman of Best Buy Co. Inc. (NYSE: BBY), Richard Schulze, resigned today, just more than a month before his previous plan to step down as chairman at the company’s annual meeting on June 21st. Here’s what Schulze said:
I continue to believe in Best Buy and its future — and care deeply about its customers, employees and shareholders. There is an urgent need for Best Buy to reinvigorate growth by reconnecting with today’s customers and building pathways to the next generation of consumers. Accordingly, I have shared my views with the Board and today informed them of my decision to resign as Chairman and a director, effective immediately, in order to explore all available options for my ownership stake.
Schulze holds a 20.1% ownership stake in Best Buy.
Schulze’s planned departure was related to his knowledge of an inappropriate relationship former Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn had with a female employee. Dunn was fired and Schulze, who knew of the affair but did not inform the board’s audit committee, was to give up his chairmanship but remain as a director until his term expired in 2013. As we noted in our original coverage, today’s announcement should have been dated a month ago.
Best Buy’s shares are down more than -7% at $18.47 in a 52-week range of $17.53-$32.85.