Struggling Retailer Best Buy to Lose Key Executive

Andrew Klips  |

In its latest executive shake-up, Best Buy Co. (BBY) reported that Chief Financial Officer Jim Muehlbauer is exiting his position at the end of the 2013 fiscal year (ending February 3, 2013) after 11 years of service at the big-box electronics retailer.  The company has already begun looking for a replacement.

A regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission shows that Muehlbauer, 50, will receive a $1.4 million payment as part of his separation benefits.

Best Buy has been fighting to maintain market share, nonetheless capture more, as online companies continue to offer more competitive pricing.

Earnings during the first two quarters this year have resulted in tighter margins and double-digit percentage declines, putting the company on a mission to become a turn-around story.

In August, Best Buy hired former Carlson Companies executive Hubert Joly as its chief executive, replacing former CEO Brian Dunn who left in April amidst a corporate probe of an alleged "improper relationship" with a 29-year-old female employee.  During August, Best Buy also suspending guidance for the year, citing lower sales expectations and uncertainty amongst product launches.

"Given the unique relationship between a CEO and CFO, it is not uncommon for a new CEO to bring in his own person," said Best Buy spokesman Matt Furman.

Last week, the Minneapolis, Minnesota-based company named Expedia executive Scott Durchslag as senior vice president and president of online and global e-commerce.

The company has been a prominent news topic as founder and former CEO Richard Schulze is performing due diligence in consideration of making an offer to take the embattled company private.  Schulze has suggested that he would be willing to pay between $24 and $26 per share for the 80 percent of the shares that he doesn't already own.   In total the deal would be worth about $11 billion.

Shares of BBY closed down by 0.39% in Tuesday trading at $17.84.

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