August 20, 2012, 11:51 AM

Best Buy hires a new CEO

Hospitality industry veteran Hubert Joly will take the top job in September.

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Citing his “expertise in turnaround and growth,” Best Buy Co. Inc. today named hospitality industry executive Hubert Joly as its new CEO. Joly, who is French, will replace interim CEO Mike Mikan in early September after securing a visa.

“Hubert is a strategic thinker with deep financial acumen and global experience leading large, international employee groups,” says Kathleen J. Higgins Victor, a member of the Best Buy board and chairwoman of the CEO search committee. “Best Buy is a great company with great people, and I have every confidence that Hubert is the right person to expand Best Buy’s leading position in the marketplace.”

Mikan stepped in this spring to as in interim replacement to the last CEO, Brian Dunn, who quit in April during an investigation into his personal conduct by the company’s board of directors. When Joly takes the helm, Mikan will remain with Best Buy as the board’s chairman of the audit committee.

Joly has been president, CEO and director since 2008 at global hospitality and travel company Carlson, which owns properties including Radisson and Park Plaza hotel chains and T.G.I. Friday’s restaurants. He also serves as a chairman of the board at Carlson Wagonlit Travel and the Rezidor Hotel Group, and as a director at Polo Ralph Lauren, according to his LinkedIn profile. Previously, he led the growth of corporate travel at Carlson Wagonlit Travel from $8 billion in 2003 to $25 billion in 2007, while also increasing online bookings by 50%, Best Buy says.

Joly also held CEO and executive vice president positions at video game company Vivendi, now a division of Activision Blizzard, executive positions at EDS France and EDS Europe and was a partner at business consultancy McKinsey & Co. (EDS is now part of Hewlett-Packard Co.)

“I look forward to working with the company’s management team and employees to pursue what are exciting growth opportunities for Best Buy—both online and offline—through a combination of competitive prices, superior service, new growth engines and innovations, as we deliver to millions of customers the technology solutions that enable easy access to people, knowledge, ideas and fun,” Joly says.

Carlson and Best Buy are both based in the Minneapolis metropolitan area.

In another matter, Best Buy and founder Richard Schulze, who is the company’s largest shareholder, failed to come to an agreement over the weekend on a request by Schulze to conduct due diligence on the company for the purpose of making an offer to buy out Best Buy and  the take the company private in a deal estimated to be worth between $8 billion and $9 billion.

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