Best Buy loses two board directors

Mon Dec 31, 2012 9:33pm EST
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By Greg Roumeliotis

(Reuters) - Best Buy Co Inc said on Monday that two of its board directors had resigned, including one of its former chief executives, almost seven months after its founder, who is now mounting a bid for the struggling retailer, left the board.

The departures will leave Best Buy with four vacancies on its 11-member board.

The company's fortunes have faltered as consumers increasingly use its big box stores as showrooms for products they end up buying online at Inc and other websites.

Best Buy said that G. Mike Mikan, who served as interim CEO between April and September 2012 after former chief Brian Dunn was found to have had an improper relationship with a female employee, had stepped down from the board effective immediately.

Mikan left to become president of Edward Lampert's hedge fund ESL Investments Inc. Billionaire Lampert is the chairman of another retailer, Sears Holdings Corp, which he controls and is embarked on a turnaround campaign.

"Mike's background fits with our strategy and he will be a great asset to me and to ESL's portfolio companies," Lampert said in a statement on Monday.

Mikan's main corporate stint was at UnitedHealth Group Inc, where he spent 14 years and served as executive vice president and chief financial officer, as well as CEO of its Optum subsidiary. He became a Best Buy director in 2008.

Mikan was at the helm of Best Buy when Richard Schulze, its former chairman and founder, lost his chairmanship after he was held responsible for failing to notify the board about allegations against his protégé Dunn. Schulze resigned as board member in June.   Continued...

A Best Buy logo is seen during Thanksgiving Day in San Francisco, California, November 22, 2012. REUTERS/Stephen Lam