Best Buy's top U.S. store executive departs

  • Article by: STEVE ALEXANDER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 14, 2014 - 8:58 PM

Seven months after getting a new title, Best Buy Inc.’s president of U.S. retail stores retired and is being succeeded by the retailer’s chief human resources officer.

Shawn Score, a 29-year veteran of the Richfield-based company, was put in charge of its 1,400 U.S. stores in January 2013. He was named president of the unit, the biggest in the company, last October.

Best Buy on Monday confirmed the departure of Score, 48, but declined further comment.

Shari Ballard, the human resources chief, will take on Score’s duties. ­Ballard, a 21-year employee, will retain the human resources job, which she got last August after leading Best Buy’s approximately 450-store international unit. She previously was executive vice president of retail channel management.

Best Buy said Ballard is a permanent replacement for Score, rather than an interim choice.

Before being named head of Best Buy’s U.S. retail operations at the start of last year, Score was president of Best Buy Mobile for five years. He was also a board member of the Best Buy Children’s ­Foundation.

The change comes as Best Buy continues a turnaround program called “Renew Blue” that has been in progress for more than a year. Best Buy cut costs by $765 million last year and, in February, laid off 2,000 store managers. CEO Hubert Joly has said the restructuring would be focused on eliminating inefficiencies more than reducing workforce.

The company is coming off a difficult holiday season, the biggest sales period of the year, in which it cut prices and ate into margins to remain competitive with Amazon, Wal-Mart and other retailers. It produced weaker-than-expected results during its fourth quarter. After its stock more than tripled last year, Best Buy shares are down 36 percent so far in 2014.

Steve Alexander • 612-673-4553

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