Best Buy Co. rushed to assure investors Friday that CEO Hubert Joly is not pursuing a position at another company.
Its shares had dropped as much as 2.5 percent in pre-trading after a news report said Joly was considered a top prospect to take the top job at Carrefour SA, the France-based retail giant that operates in 35 countries.
About a 30 minutes after trading began, the company issued a statement from Joly that he didn't plan to leave the Richfield-based electronics retailer. The company's shares responded. Its stock closed down less than 1 percent.
"There have been reports that I am being considered for a CEO role at another company," Joly said in the statement. "Let me be clear. I am fully committed to Best Buy's continued transformation and have absolutely no plans to leave."
Valor Economico, a Brazilian newspaper, reported that Carrefour has identified Joly as a favorite to succeed George Plassat, whose term as chief executive ends in May 2018. The company, which has about 12,000 locations including 1,500 warehouse-size hypermarkets, is aiming to appoint a successor in the first half of this year, the paper said.
Joly, who was born and raised in France, has led Best Buy since August 2012 and masterminded a turnaround effort that focused the company on its U.S. retail stores and shaved costs.
The actions put Best Buy on solid footing to weather the end of the hypergrowth in key products such as flat-screen TVs and smartphones.
In his first year on the job, Best Buy's stock value tripled and was one of the top performers of 2013. Shares fell again in 2014 as performance was affected by product cycles, but rose gradually in the last two years and reached an all-time high last month.