Best Buy on Monday named Chief Financial Officer Corie Barry as the company’s chief executive officer — the first woman to lead the consumer electronics retailer in its 53-year history.
Barry, who joined Richfield, Minn.-based Best Buy in 1999 and went on to become its finance chief in 2016, will become the company’s fifth CEO when she takes over from Hubert Joly, who will step aside to become executive chairman in June.
Barry along with Joly, a restructuring expert, turned around the struggling retailer that had been dogged by falling same-store sales and a takeover battle with founder Richard Schulze.
She also has held several operational roles in her tenure, including heading the integration of health services provider GreatCall, which Best Buy bought last year for $800 million.
Joly, despite lacking a retail background, was instrumental in beefing up the company’s website, delivery options and tech support services making it a formidable force in a world increasingly dominated by Amazon.com.
Under Joly, the company also has placed emphasis on membership services such as its Geek Squad tech support to boost margins as the importance of matching prices with online competition becomes ever more essential to keep customers visiting its stores and website.
Incoming CEO Barry, on a call with the media, said she would continue Best Buy’s business strategy without any major shifts or leadership changes.
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Telsey Advisory Group’s analyst Joseph Feldman said, “She is a strategic thinker who helped develop the turnaround strategy with current CEO Hubert Joly and has been at his side laying the plan for the future.”