Best Buy Names Finance Chief Corie Barry to Replace Hubert Joly as CEO
Best Buy (BBY) said on Monday that its Chief Financial Officer Corie Barry will be its next chief executive, tasked with continuing the electronics retailer’s remarkable transformation under outgoing CEO Hubert Joly.
Barry, a 20 year veteran of Best Buy, is also the chain’s chief strategic transformation officer, and will take the CEO reins on June 11. She has been an instrumental part of the executive team that has helped Joly pull off one of the most dramatic reinventions of a major retailer ever. Joly will stay on as executive chairman and advise Barry on matters such as strategy and mergers and acquisitions.
When Joly, a Frenchman, became CEO nearly seven years ago, Best Buy was a mess, in danger of becoming obsolete as Amazon.com (AMZN)ate into its market share; the fear was that it’d meet the same fate as bankrupt Circuit City. The company was also in the midst of a bitter takeover battle with founder Richard Schulze and had posted same-store sales declines in seven of the preceding eight quarters.
But Joly, who had previously been CEO of privately-held hospitality and travel company Carlson, carved out a new place for Best Buy in shoppers’ routines. He pushed the retailer to add many services to give customers a reason to come to stores and, in a show of pragmatism, teamed up with brands, most notably Amazon, to have shop-in-shops.
Best Buy’s moves have included providing more technical support and offering in-home advisors for technically challenging installations, which make the retailer less reliant on new product releases, many of which customers can get on Amazon anyway. The company has also grown enormously on the e-commerce front, successfully defending itself against Amazon, Walmart, and Target.
His strategies, for which Barry was a key architect, have paid off handsomely: on his watch, shares have more than quadrupled in value, with Best Buy’s market capitalization reaching nearly $20 billion. In February, Best Buy reported its eighth straight quarter of comparable sales growth.
Since joining Best Buy in 1999, Barry has served in a number of financial and operational roles; in 2016, she added CFO to her existing title of chief strategic growth officer. She took on the role of chief strategic transformation officer last year. She also sits on Domino’s Pizza’s board.
Barring any changes to the current list of women CEOs in the Fortune 500—or to any expected appointments or exits—before June 11, Barry will bring the number of female chiefs to 30 when she steps into the job.