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Richard Schulze

Adam Bettcher, Wireimage for Starkey Lab

Best Buy founder Richard Schulze faces Oct. 31 deadline to name directors

  • Article by: Thomas Lee
  • Star Tribune
  • March 15, 2013 - 8:45 PM

 

Best Buy Co. Inc. disclosed Friday that founder Richard Schulze has until the end of October to submit his nominations to the board of directors.

Under an agreement with the company, Schulze’s 20 percent stake entitles him to two board seats. He can put forth three candidates, including himself, by Oct. 31, of which Best Buy must select two people, according to the company.

Best Buy recently changed its bylaws so that shareholders could nominate directors between Feb. 15 and March 15, a deadline that appeared to apply to Schulze, who is the company’s largest shareholder. A Best Buy spokeswoman said Friday he has more time.

Schulze and Best Buy had agreed that if he was going to make an offer to buy the company, he had to do so by Feb. 28. After he failed to make a bid, Schulze said in a regulatory filing that he had not decided whether to fill his board seats. A spokeswoman for Schulze did not return a call seeking comment.

Schulze started what became Best Buy in 1966 with a music store in St. Paul, building the company into the largest consumer electronics retailer in the world. He was Best Buy’s board chairman until he resigned last summer to pursue a bid for the company.

If he returns as a director, Schulze would need to demonstrate a certain degree of obedience to Best Buy’s leadership, experts say. If he remains an outsider, however, he could make yet another attempt at a later time to remake the board to his liking and reclaim his position as chairman.

Schulze’s eight-month quest to purchase Best Buy has essentially put the number and composition of the board of the world’s largest consumer electronics retailer in flux.

At the beginning of 2012, Best Buy’s board consisted of 11 members. Since then, Rogelio Rebolledo and G. “Mike” Mikan have left the board. Matthew Paull is set to retire in April.

Best Buy’s board for the time being has three empty seats.

Had Schulze submitted an offer by the end of February, he would have needed to name his slate of candidates by Friday, the deadline for all shareholders to nominate directors. The company declined to say whether it received any nominations.

 

Thomas Lee • 612-673-4113

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