Can New CEO Hubert Joly Turn Around Best Buy (BBY)?

Aug 20, 2012 2:58pm
ap hubert joly ll 120820 wblog Can New CEO Hubert Joly Turn Around Best Buy (BBY)?

(Image credit: Anthony Behar/Sipa Press via AP Images)

Best Buy has appointed a new CEO, Hubert Joly, to lead the beleaguered electronics retailer.

Interim CEO Mike Mikan, who has led Best Buy since former chief executive Brian Dunn resigned following an inappropriate relationship with a female employee, will continue to serve on the board.

On Sunday night, Joly resigned as CEO of the hotel and restaurant company, Carlson, the parent of Radisson and Country Inns and Suites, and T.G.I. Friday’s restaurants, based in Minneapolis.

Joly will have his work cut out for him in trying to turn around the Best Buy, which is facing increasing competition from online retailers and a takeover offer from founder Richard Schulze.

Jeff Macke, co-host of Yahoo Finance’s Breakout, said regardless of the new appointment, Best Buy’s turnaround is unlikely.

“Best Buy has got a lot of problems,” Macke told ABC News Now.

Electronics customers have been turning to a lower-priced online competitor, Amazon.

But R.J. Hottovy, a senior retail analyst with investment firm, Morningstar, said Joly’s turnaround experience with service and technology companies, including Vivendi’s video game business unit, French-based Electronic Data Systems and consulting firm McKinsey & Co., make him an “appropriate choice.”

“We believe Joly’s experience with service and technology companies will be an asset in improving Best Buy’s in-store service offering and making it a more competitive online retailer,”  Hottovy wrote in a note to investors. “Still, it remains unclear what decisions Joly will make regarding Best Buy’s retail square footage, where we’ve long since believed a dramatic reduction was necessary to narrow the pricing parity gap with players like Amazon and generate positive economic returns.”

Best Buy will report its second-quarter earnings Tuesday morning.

In mid-afternoon trading, shares of the company were trading around $18.75, down 7.5 percent.

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