Investors slow to embrace Best Buy's CEO choice

Best Buy shares fell Monday following its appointment of Hubert Joly as CEO, showing the company still has ground to cover in reassuring stakeholders of its leadership.

Best Buy shares fell Monday following its appointment of Hubert Joly as CEO, showing the company still has ground to cover in reassuring stakeholders of its leadership.  

Joly, former chief executive of hospitality and restaurant giant Carlson, has experience turning around companies, which undoubtedly made him an attractive CEO candidate for the struggling electronics retailer.

In 2008, Joly became CEO of Carlson, which owns businesses such as TGI Friday's and Country Inns & Suites, after helping transform Carslon Wagonlit Travel into a global leader in corporate travel management. He also led the restructuring of Vivendi's video game business and the turnaround of EDS, now part of HP, in France.

However, while Joly has worked in the media, hospitality, and technology industries, one analyst criticized his lack of experience in electronics and retail.

"Joly is a rogue agent," Brian Sozzi, analyst at research firm NBG Productions, said Monday morning. "He comes in and fixes companies and then leaves…The market likely will be disappointed in the hiring of a hospitality chief as CEO in what is a critical juncture for an electronics retailer.”

Joly will replace Mike Mikan, who has led Best Buy on an interim basis following the departure of Brian Dunn in April. He is planning to take over as president and CEO in early September.

Best Buy, which is expected to report earnings on Tuesday, has struggled to compete with online retailers. In March, the company said it would close 50 big box retail stores after a $1.7 billion loss for the quarter ending March 3.  

Best Buy also has to contend with founder and largest shareholder Richard Schulze, who rejected a proposal from the company on Sunday that would have advanced talks for his takeover bid.

Matthew Furman joined Best Buy as SVP of communications and public affairs on June 22. Earlier this year, the company brought on Hill+Knowlton Strategies to handle its corporate shake-up, following Dunn's departure.

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