By Khadeeja Safdar
Best Buy Co.'s leader, Hubert Joly, will step aside as chief executive, after leading the turnaround of an electronics retailer that many thought would suffer the same fate as other big-box chains facing Amazon.com Inc.
Mr. Joly, an outsider who joined the retail chain in 2012, will hand over the CEO job to finance chief Corie Barry in June. Ms. Barry will be one of the few women and one of the youngest to lead an S&P 500 company. Mr. Joly will serve as executive chairman and remain an employee.
Ms. Barry, who turns 44 this week, joined Best Buy in 1999 and has held various roles, including interim leader of Best Buy's services business. She is a Minnesota native and holds a degree in accounting and management. She also serves on the board of Domino's Pizza.
Mr. Joly orchestrated a multiyear turnaround at Best Buy, defying the fate that has befallen Circuit City, Sports Authority, Toys "R" Us and other so-called category killers. When he first joined in 2012, the electronics retailer was struggling with plunging sales and dwindling profit as consumers browsed at brick-and-mortar stores but made purchases on Amazon and other websites.
The former hospitality executive matched prices, added services and used the company's more than 1,000 U.S. stores to fulfill online orders. The strategy helped Best Buy achieve its fifth consecutive year of comparable sales growth in fiscal 2019.
After news of the CEO transition was announced, shares were down 1% premarket. The stock, which closed Friday at $73.57, is trading near all-time highs.
Best Buy's leadership change comes after the company launched a new growth strategy. Mr. Joly said he was shifting Best Buy's focus from immediate problems to long-term investments that would help the electronics chain compete more effectively with Amazon and other rivals.
Best Buy said it will conduct a search for a new finance chief, and Mike Mohan, who is the company's U.S. chief operating officer, will be promoted to president and chief operating officer.
Write to Khadeeja Safdar at email@example.com