August 3, 2009, 12:00 AM

Best Buy Europe moves on expansion plans and appoints a CEO

Scott Wheway, a 20-year veteran of U.K. food retailer Tesco Stores, will oversee online and direct operations as well as stores for Best Buy Europe.

Pushing ahead on its European expansion plans, Best Buy Europe, the company created by the consumer electronics retailer last year following its $2.1 billion acquisition of 50% of European telecommunications company The Carphone Warehouse Group LLC, has named a CEO. Scott Wheway, who in May became chief operating officer of Best Buy International, a business unit focused on sales outside the United States, will give up that role to lead Best Buy Europe.

Wheway will be responsible for all Best Buy Europe operations, including its online and direct operations, as well as The Carphone Warehouse’s more than 2,000 stores in nine European countries. He’ll also oversee the company’s insurance operations as well as the big-box Best Buy stores that are scheduled to open in the United Kingdom next year and across Europe later.

During a 20-year tenure at U.K. grocery chain Tesco Stores Ltd., Wheway progressed from the sales floor to the ranks of senior leadership, including serving as operations director and change director. Most recently, he served as managing director of Boots the Chemist, a U.K. health and beauty product chain and part of pharmacy company Alliance Boots PLC. He also is a non-executive director of Aviva PLC, the U.K.’s largest insurer.

“Scott is the consummate retailer. He’s never forgotten his roots as a line-level store employee, and he remains passionate about meeting customer needs,” says Robert Willett, chairman of the Best Buy Europe board and CEO of Best Buy International. “His energy and background are a brilliant fit for this exciting challenge as we move forward with our strategy in Europe.”

The venture gives Best Buy, No. 12 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, an entry into the growing consumer electronics market in Europe.

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