AP News

Janney: New leaders mean innovation at Best Buy


NEW YORK (AP) — The departure of Best Buy's chief financial officer could signal the beginning of a broader executive shake-up and Janney Capital Markets said Wednesday that new leadership will bring change an innovation to the struggling electronics retailer.

The company announced late Tuesday that James Muehlbauer was leaving the company and that it had begun to search for a replacement.

It's the second major personnel move this month since turnaround expert and new CEO Hubert Joly, joined the company in August. Former CEO Brian Dunn left in April amid a company investigation into an improper relationship with an employee.

"Turnover is inevitable from the first outside CEO in company's history," Janney analyst David Strasser wrote. "We already are seeing changes happen quickly at Best Buy, and we believe more changes are the way."

Strasser rates the Minneapolis company with a "Buy."

Last week the company named Expedia executive Scott Durchslag as senior vice president and president online and global e-commerce.

Best Buy is fighting to reverse a decline in its business due to a weak global economy and consumers' changing shopping habits. Stores are becoming unprofitable as customers increasingly use them to browse for electronics, only to buy them cheaper online or elsewhere.

Best Buy shares rose 15 cents to $18 in midday trading.


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