Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn resigns amid internal probe - KMSP-TV

Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn resigns amid internal probe

Updated:
MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) -

Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn resigned abruptly on Tuesday amid an investigation into his "personal conduct."

Earlier on Tuesday, Best Buy said in a news release it was a mutual decision and there were no disagreements between Dunn and the company on any matters related to operations, finances, policies or procedures.

"Certain issues were brought to the board's attention regarding Dunn's personal conduct, unrelated to the company's operations or financial controls, and an audit committee investigation was initiated," according to a company statement issued late Tuesday. "Prior to the completion of the investigation, Mr. Dunn chose to resign."

The company declined to specify what kind of personal conduct was at issue or how long the investigation has been underway.

Dunn, 50, had been CEO since June 2009. His resignation ends a 28-year career at Best Buy, where he worked his way up from store associate. Board member G. Mike Mikan will serve as interim CEO during the search for a permanent replacement.

Dunn's exit comes about two weeks after Best Buy announced it would cut 400 jobs and close 50 stores, including five in Minnesota. The new concept of smaller stores that emphasized customer service draw a lukewarm reception. The plan was part of an attempt to compete against Apple stores, which make $4,700 dollars per square foot -- unlike Best Buy's $18.52 per square feet via the "big box" approach.

Last month's news of impending layoffs and new strategies led to dismal stock numbers, which have dropped more than 13 percent in the past two months alone. On Tuesday, investors initially reacted well to the news of Dunn's resignation. The stock price jumped nearly a dollar, but it ended the day down almost 6 percent, or $1.33 to close at $21.32.

Over the past 52 weeks, shares have traded between a high of $32.85 and a low of $21.79. All told, the company's shares have lost more than half of their value since April 2006, when they were trading at $56.66 per share.

This is the second top-level shakeup in as many months at Best Buy. Geek Squad founder and chief technology officer Robert Stephens left the company in March to move to California and pursue other opportunities.

Earlier this year, Forbes magazine, which had named Best Buy its company of the year just a few years ago, predicted bankruptcy within the next few years.

Dunn's frequently-updated blog at www.bbycommunications.com/briandunn was no longer available Tuesday morning. No one answered the door when FOX 9 News visited Dunn's Edina home.

The financial terms of Dunn's separation have also not been disclosed. Board member Mike Mikan will serve as the interim CEO until a replacement is found.

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