Best Buy Chairman to Step Down After Probe
Schulze, who will remain on the board until next year, will be replaced as chairman by Bytemobile CEO Hatim Tyabji
By: Maureen O'Gara
May. 21, 2012 08:00 AM
Best Buy founder and its largest shareholder Richard Schulze, 71, will be stepping down as chairman June 21 after a board investigation found he didn't disclose CEO Brian Dunn's "extremely close personal relationship" with a 29-year-old female employee to the board's audit committee.
Instead, based on an informant's written testimony and ignoring possible liabilities to the company, he confronted Dunn who denied it.
Dunn and the woman maintained to investigators that their relationship wasn't "romantic or otherwise improper" - although he called her 33 times, sent 149 text messages and 42 pictures or video messages during two trips abroad last year and she wasn't discrete among co-workers about favors he did for her like soliciting a vendor for a ticket to a concert in Vegas and helping her pay for the trip.
They also met in Dunn's office and Best Buy conference rooms for no apparent business reason, for lunch, for drinks and on weekends.
Anyway, the board found it demoralizing and against Best Buy rules and Dunn resigned last month.
The probe absolved Dunn, 51 and married, of misusing company assets and he'll be getting $6.64 million.
Schulze, who will remain on the board until next year, will be replaced as chairman by Bytemobile CEO Hatim Tyabji.
Best Buy is up against serious competition from the Internet and Apple.
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