After Cutting 600, Best Buy Hires 500 for Geek Squad

The company is reportedly retooling its Geek Squad team as it shifts employees away from basic home installations to focus on services for small businesses and on providing technology expertise at Best Buy’s smaller, “connected”-format stores.

Best Buy Company, Inc., which recently announced plans to cut about 600 Geek Squad workers, reportedly intends to hire roughly 500 new Geek Squad employees by the end of this year.

Less than two weeks ago, Best Buy said that it would eliminate 2,400 jobs companywide in its latest move to cut costs and turn the company around. In addition to the 600 Geek Squad cuts, the layoffs include roughly 1,800 Best Buy store employees.

The Geek Squad reduction targeted technicians who exclusively serviced individual products, like televisions and personal computers, Best Buy Senior Vice President of Services George Sherman told the Star Tribune. Now, the Richfield-based electronics retailer is hiring higher-skilled workers, as it shifts more Geek Squad employees away from basic home installations to focus on services for small businesses, the Minneapolis newspaper reported.

The move seems to align with statements interim CEO G. Mike Mikan made last month at Best Buy’s annual meeting. He said the company would refocus on improving customer experience and “strengthening technology expertise.” Mikan also said that the company “cannot be seen just as a hardware retailer.”

Best Buy previously took other steps to focus on small businesses. Late last year it announced plans to acquire MindShift Technologies—a Massachusetts-based managed service provider for small and mid-sized businesses—for $167 million.

And in March, Best Buy unveiled the Geek Squad Partner Program, through which the company works with vendors, including telecom and cable resellers, that serve small businesses.

Best Buy is also boosting the number of Geek Squad employees at its stores that feature the smaller, “connected-store” layout, the Star Tribune reported.

To read more about Best Buy’s plans to hire 500 new Geek Squad employees, read the full Star Tribune story here.