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Best Buy's founder quits board, opening firm to a takeover

By Associated Press


NEW YORK » The founder and outgoing chairman of Best Buy announced his resignation from the board Thursday and said that he might sell off his 20.1 percent stake in the beleaguered electronics retailer.

It's the latest news to hit the Minneapolis company facing increasing competition from online retailers and a scandal, and it removes one obstacle for a possible private equity takeover of the company. Shares fell nearly 8 percent in morning trading.

Richard Schulze, 71, had been with the company since its inception in 1966 and is its largest shareholder by far. The second-largest holder, Fidelity Management & Research Co., has a 6.9 percent stake in the company.

"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," Schulze said in a statement. "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."

He initially announced in May that he would step down June 21 at the company's annual meeting after an investigation found he knew that then-CEO Brian Dunn was having an inappropriate relationship with a female staff member. At the time he said he would remain as chairman until after the company's annual meeting on June 21 and as a director through the 2013 annual meeting.

On Thursday he said he would walk away from both of those positions, effective immediately.

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koolau wrote:
The whole "feel" at Best Buy is uncomfortable. For me, it's as though they want to pick your pocket. Ask where the ear phones are. They'll "point" you in the direction. You want to look at Ipads, they'll "walk" you to them. Their personnel lack the personal touch, which apparently have been removed in their training process. Their prices aren't that great. Look out for their re-stocking fees. If you have the opporunity, compare that atmosphere to that of Office Max or Office Depot.
on June 8,2012 | 04:49AM
soundofreason wrote:
Ear phones - They're in 4 different places and not every kind in each OF those places. It's an Easter egg hunt.
on June 8,2012 | 07:11AM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
Why is it that he has to resign over knowledge of personal improprieties by two Best Buy employees? What they do in bed is not anyone else's business except those two and their possible marital partners.
on June 9,2012 | 12:51PM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
Best Buy has been in trouble lately given how they have downsized their inventory. One of the reasons why I don't go there anymore is their store policy. When they have one of their doorbuster sales some customers will buy out all their stock on an item such as a video game. In fact, I went there to purchase video games for gift giving for family only to find a selfish man take all the "in-demand" games and buy them all. He has a stack that was literally five feet tall. I even got to the store well before they opened. This guy ran all the way to the video games and just grabbed them all before the other customers could get a chance at them. I contacted Best Buy and suggested they limit these doorbuster items to one per customer and they just didn't seem to care. What's the whole point of getting up early to get something at their doorbuster sale when someone ahead of you can just buy them all? I suspect that this guy turned around and sold those copies or was instructed by his boss at a video game retailer to pick up all the copies. This kind of thing will lead to Best Buy losing customers. And it did for me.
on June 9,2012 | 12:58PM
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