Richard Schulze still looms large at Best Buy

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  • April 18, 2013 - 10:19 AM



He may have a honorary title but Richard Schulze reminded employees at Best Buy that he plans to be an active force in the company.

During an all-employee town hall meeting at its corporate headquarters in Richfield, Schulze, now chairman emeritus, offered a list of Best Buy's top ten priorities on a Power Point presentation, sources tell the Star Tribune.

One assumes that CEO Hubert Joly or even chairman Hatim Tyabji would perform that task. As chairman emeritus, Schulze acts an advisor to the company but his role seems considerably larger.

He gets monthly financial reports plus a briefing from CEO Hubert Joly and CFO Sharon McCollam every quarter. Not to mention a salary, health benefits, an office and secretary.

The meeting marked the first time Schulze, Joly, and Tyabji all shared the stage since Schulze left the company last year under a cloud.

The show of unity comes one day after former CEO Brad Anderson and former president and vice chairman Al Lenzmeier officially rejoined the board of directors as Schulze’s representatives.

That Schulze and Tyabji should even speak to one another, never mind share the same space, seemed unlikely a year ago when the board ousted Schulze as chairman after an investigation concluded the founder withheld allegations about then CEO Brian Dunn’s personal conduct.

After Tyabji replaced Schulze, the two briefly waged a battle of press releases after the board initially refused Schulze’s request for financial information so he could launch a buyout campaign.

Joly, Schulze, and Tyabji spoke about their reconciliation and took questions from employees.

“I’ve always had respect for our board,” Schulze recently told the Star Tribune. “They do believe in what’s best for the interest of shareholders.”


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