Now that the turnaround of Best Buy has been accomplished, the consumer electronics retailer has its eyes set on Amazon to show the world that the eCommerce giant doesn’t have to be the untouchable 800-pound gorilla, so says chairman and CEO Hubert Joly.
“We have turned around the business, it’s about where we go from here,” Joly told Reuters in March. “We have not only survived but thrived and I don’t believe this is a winner-takes-all market.”
Joly joined Best Buy in 2012 and led the Richfield, Minn. company through its “Renew Blue” transformation. The company’s strategy included matching online prices to improve its competitiveness with Amazon and other eCommerce retailers; investing more in its online shopping platform and improving the training of in-store sales associates to be more engaging and proficient; partnering with leading tech companies to help them showcase their technology; and taking $1.5 billion of costs out to fund the required investments.
The transformation has resulted in improvements in customer satisfaction, market share gains, revenue growth and improved margins, according to the company. Now, Joly is leading Best Buy into its next phase, “Best Buy 2020: Building the New Blue.”
“In this next phase, Best Buy is driven by a clear purpose: to help customers pursue their passions and enrich their lives with the help of technology,” the company writes. “It aims to address their needs around entertainment, communication, productivity, security, health, etc. in a more holistic fashion. It seeks to evolve from selling products through transactions to providing solutions and building relationships.”
Under Joly’s leadership, Best Buy has also committed to help provide technology training and career pathing annually to one million underserved U.S. teens. Moreover, Best Buy is on a path to reduce its carbon footprint by 60 percent.
Reducing turnover and promoting internal leadership in the Best Buy workforce has been a major part of the company’s recent success, Joly told Business Insider in March, outlining five criteria to determine whether someone is a leader.
First, be a purposeful leader, he said: “Be clear about your purpose in life, what drives you, and make sure it’s connected with the purpose of the company.”
Second, be clear about your role as a leader: “Do you believe your role as leaders is to be the smartest person in the room, and make sure everybody knows that? Or is it to create an environment in which others can be successful and…blossom and flourish?”
Third, be clear about who you’re serving: “If you believe you’re serving the servants, meaning people on the front line, and your role is to help them be successful, then you’ve got it.”
Fourth, be a values-driven leader: “Integrity is really important….These numbers with turnover and employee satisfaction, really, would not happen if we’re just going to tell people, ‘Be happy.’”
And fifth, be an authentic leader – if you’re a nice person in your personal life, don’t think that you have to be mean at work to get results, Joly said.
“Work-life balance almost has the connotation that your work is not part of your life,” he said. “So you can be an a–, the most terrible person at work, and then you can be the most wonderful person outside — it makes no sense.”
He’s No. 70 on Chief Executive and RHR International’s CEO1000 Tracker, a ranking of the top 1,000 public/private companies.
Hubert Joly, Chairman & CEO, Best Buy
Headquarters: Richfield, MN
Education: HEC Paris
First joined company: 2012
Positions prior to joining Best Buy: President and CEO of Carlson Companies
Named CEO: 2012