MINNEAPOLIS-Brian Dunn, former CEO of Best Buy, was found by an investigation by the retailer’s board of directors to have violated company policy by “engaging in an extremely close personal relationship with a female employee that negatively impacted the work environment,” according to a company statement.
Also, Richard Schulze, Best Buy’s founder and chairman, “acted inappropriately” when he failed to bring the matter regarding Dunn to the board’s audit committee in December 2011, when the allegations against Dunn were first raised. On May 12, the board elected Director Hatim Tyabji, chairman and CEO of Bytemobile, to succeed Schulze as Best Buy’s chairman, effective at the conclusion of Best Buy’s annual meeting on June 21. Schulze will take the honorary title of founder and chairman emeritus at that time, and will serve out the remainder of his term as director through June 2013.
The investigation was conducted by an outside law firm, WilmerHale. It found that Dunn’s relationship with the female employee involved no misuse of company resources, but “demonstrated extremely poor judgment and a lack of professionalism,” the statement said. Schulze said that when Dunn’s conduct was brought to his attention, he confronted Dunn with the allegations (which Dunn denied) and told him his conduct violated Best Buy’s policies. “I understand and accept the findings of the audit committee,” Schulze said.