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Next Best Buy CEO Corie Barry: 5 Things to Know

Best Buy CFO and Strategic Transformation Officer Corie Barry will succeed CEO Hubert Joly on June 11, 2019, the retail and e-commerce giant confirmed today. The move comes as Best Buy introduces Total Tech Support subscription services for customers -- somewhat akin to managed IT services for consumers.

Best Buy’s Next CEO: Corie Barry
Best Buy's Next CEO: Corie Barry

So who is Barry, and how will she lead Best Buy -- which continues to push hard into consumer IT services? Here are five things to know.

1. Current Role: As CFO and Strategic Transformation Officer, Barry has overseen Best Buy's digital and technology, global finance, investor relations, enterprise risk and compliance, integration management, and Best Buy Health, which includes GreatCall, the company says.

2. Previous Roles: Barry joined Best Buy in 1999 and has held a variety of financial and operational roles within the organization, both in the field and at the corporate campus, the company says. She became CFO in 2016 and, prior to that, served as the company’s Chief Strategic Growth Officer. Barry has also served as senior vice president of domestic finance and as the interim leader of Best Buy’s services organization, the company notes.

3. Additional Career Experience: Prior to Best Buy, Barry worked at Deloitte & Touche. She holds bachelor’s degrees in accounting and management from the College of Saint Benedict, where she also serves on the board of trustees. Additionally, she serves on the board of directors for Domino’s Pizza, Best Buy says.

Mike Mohan rises to president
Current CEO Hubert Joy

4. More Best Buy Leadership Moves: In addition to Barry's move to CEO, the company also promoted U.S. Chief Operating Officer Mike Mohan to president and COO, also effective June 11. The company is now searching for a new CFO. Joly, meanwhile, will continue to lead the board of directors while advising and supporting Barry on key matters, such as strategy, capability building, M&A and external relationships.

5. Best Buy Business and Financial Performance: Best Buy's most recent quarterly results (disclosed in February 2019) beat Wall Street's expectations on multiple fronts. Still, the company  (like many retailers with tech ambitions) continues to face growth challenges. For its Q4 of fiscal 2019:

  • Revenue was $14.8 billion, down  3.6 percent from the corresponding quarter the previous year but still $120 million above Wall Street's expectations.
  • Net earnings were $735 million, up from $364 million in Q4 of fiscal 2018.

Among the key moves during the past fiscal year: Launching a Total Tech Support program, expanding an In-Home Advisor program, and acquiring GreatCall, a provider of connected health and personal emergency response services to the aging population.

Bottom Line: Best Buy and Technology Subscription Services

Best Buy now positions itself as a "a leading technology products and services provider." The Total Tech Support Program, In-Home Advisor program and GreatCall acquisition all involve subscription-based services. It's a safe bet Barry will bet heavily on additional subscription-type services in the consumer sector.

The journey won't be easy, but the consumer-centric push is in stark contrast to retailers such as Staples and Office Depot. Staples is now private equity owned and recently launched a rebrand while taking on more debt. And Office Depot is attempting to push into IT services, though the company's CompuCom business unit recently stumbled on the revenue front.

Back at Best Buy, the retailer is expected to share its latest quarterly results in May 22, 2019, according to Yahoo Finance.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.