In its second-largest acquisition, Amazon buys the company for $970 million.
Stephen Gillett arrives from Starbucks to head up the retailer’s digital division.
Best Buy Co. Inc. today announced it has hired Stephen Gillett to serve as president of Best Buy Digital and Global Business Services, a newly created position. He will head up the electronics retailer’s e-retail business and is charged with advancing the company’s digital strategy and digital marketing globally, Best Buy says. He will also be responsible for information technologies and global shared services.
Gillett has been executive vice president of digital ventures and chief information officer at Starbucks Corp. since 2008, where e-commerce was one of his responsibilities. He joins Best Buy, No. 11 in Internet Retailer’s Top 500 Guide, effective Mar. 14 and will report to CEO Brian J. Dunn.
Dunn emphasized his desire to grow the retailer’s e-commerce channel in announcing Gillett’s hire. Dunn previously announced that e-commerce sales increased 26% year over year for the five weeks ended Dec. 31, encompassing the critical holiday sales period.
“E-commerce is one of the fastest-growing sales channels for our business as demonstrated by the strong year-to-year online sales growth during the past two quarters and December,” he says. “We want to build on that momentum and Stephen’s track records makes it clear that he can help us engage customers online in ever more compelling ways. Best Buy customers and the entire Best Buy team will benefit from his innovative approaches to bring together retailing and digital technology.”
At Starbucks, Gillett headed up the division that made it possible for consumers to pay for purchases at Starbucks’ retail locations using their smartphones. He also led the redesign and expansion last summer of Starbucks’ e-retail site, Starbucksstore.com. Additionally, Starbucks says Gillett was responsible for digital partnerships, digital music initiatives and the Starbucks Digital network, which offers free access from Starbucks stores to online content that normally requires a subscription, such as the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times..
Lynn Lanphier, Best Buy’s director, digital analytics, will talk about the retailer’s web analytics strategy at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition 2012 in June in a session titled “The new age of analytics: Creating a data strategy that leads to increased sales."