May 14, 2012, 11:01 AM

Best Buy’s former CEO acted inappropriately, but did not misuse funds, the retailer says

The chain also announces that it will soon have a new board chairman.

Thad Rueter

Senior Editor

Lead Photo

Brian Dunn

Brian Dunn, who resigned as CEO of Best Buy Co. last month, carried on an inappropriate relationship with a female employee but did not misuse company resources, including aircraft, according to an investigation by the retailer. The consumer electronics chain also named a new board chairman.

Best Buy is No. 11 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

Dunn stepped down after he engaged in what the investigation calls “an extremely close personal relationship with a female employee that negatively impacted the work environment.” The relationship violated company policy. After Dunn resigned, Best Buy named G. Mike Mikan as interim CEO.

The investigation also found that the board chairman, Richard Schulze, failed to report the problem related to Dunn to the board’s Audit Committee. Schulze will leave the chairman’s job June 21 and be replaced by director Hatim Tyabji, who is chairman of the audit committee. Tyabji  is chairman and CEO of Bytemobile Inc., which provides traffic management services for mobile networks.

Schulze will become founder and chairman emeritus, and serve out his director’s term, which expires in June 2013.

As part of his severance agreement, Dunn cannot work for a Best Buy competitor for three years, more than the standard one year, the chain says. His severance package is worth more than $6.6 million and includes a $2.85 million payment, his fiscal 2012 bonus of $1.14 million, more than $2.5 million worth of stock grants and a payment for unused vacation days.

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