Richard Schulze leaves Best Buy board, report details CEO probe - KMSP-TV

Best Buy founder leaves board, report details CEO investigation

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Richard Schulze is stepping down as chairman of Best Buy in the wake of former CEO Brian Dunn's misconduct scandal.

An internal investigation by an outside law firm determined Schulze was aware of Dunn's relationship with a female subordinate and didn't alert the audit committee.

Schulze founded Best Buy in 1966.

Brian Dunn left Best Buy in April amid questions about his conduct, with the board's audit committee continuing an investigation that explored whether he misused company assets in the course of a relationship with a female subordinate.

The investigation concluded Dunn "violated company policy by engaging in an extremely close personal relationship with a female employee that negatively impacted the work environment. He also violated Company policy by soliciting from a vendor a complimentary ticket for the female employee. His relationship with the female employee demonstrated extremely poor judgment and a lack of professionalism, but the inquiry revealed no misuse of Company resources."

The investigation included:

  • 45 interviews of 34 current or former employees. (Those employees said Dunn's conduct damaged employee morale, and some felt the rules seemed to apply to everyone except Dunn.)

  • Searches of emails and other documents on both Dunn's computer and the female subordinate's computer.

  • A review of relevant internal ethics complaints.

  • A survey of personnel records.

  • A review of purchase records using employee discounts.

  • An analysis of the log of products Dunn tested as product samples.

  • An analysis of company phone records.

Best Buy's internal audit staff also performed an in-depth analysis of expense reports, records reflecting corporate use of aircraft and records of Dunn's use of a company credit card over a three-year period.

"In December, when the conduct of our then-CEO was brought to my attention, I confronted him with the allegations (which he denied), told him his conduct was totally unacceptable and contrary to Best Buy's policies and everything I, and the company, stand for. I understand and accept the findings of the Audit Committee," Schulze said in a statement.

Schulze will be replaced by audit committee chairman Hatim Tyabji.

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