Best Buy CMO Is Latest Executive to Depart

Barry Judge has reportedly left his role as chief marketing officer at Best Buy, and Stephen Gillett, who was recently appointed to lead the company's digital efforts, will now also oversee its marketing operations.

Barry Judge is the latest executive to depart from Best Buy Company, Inc., which has lost three of its key leaders this year.

Best Buy confirmed the departure of Judge, its chief marketing officer (CMO), on Wednesday, according to media reports. A spokesman for the company reportedly said that Judge left Best Buy “to explore the next chapter in his career, while Best Buy is taking advantage of the opportunity to leverage the skills and experiences of additional senior leaders.”

According to a report by the Star Tribune, Stephen Gillett will now oversee Best Buy's marketing efforts. Gillett, the former chief information officer for Starbucks, was named president of Best Buy's digital and global business services division and an executive vice president at the company in March.

The Star Tribune reported that some retailers are moving away from employing an executive whose sole role is overseeing marketing; for example, Walgreen Company recently eliminated its CMO position.

And Best Buy isn't the only local company to recently lose its CMO. Jeffrey Jones was named CMO of Minneapolis-based Target Corporation last month. He succeeded Michael Francis, who left Target to become president of J.C. Penney Company.

Judge is the third major executive to leave Best Buy this year. In March, Robert Stephens, founder of The Geek Squad, stepped down from his role as chief technology officer. Stephens said at the time that he was “ready to build new companies.”

A month later, the company announced that CEO Brian Dunn had resigned, and it was subsequently uncovered that the former chief executive left the company amid an investigation into allegations involving his conduct with a female subordinate.

Best Buy officials told the Star Tribune that Judge's departure is not connected to the investigation involving Dunn.

Following Dunn's departure, G. Mike Mikan was named interim CEO. The company in late April named the members of a committee tasked with finding Dunn's permanent replacement. The company expects the search process to be completed within six to nine months.

Best Buy is Minnesota's third-largest public company based on revenue, which totaled $50.7 billion for the fiscal year that ended on March 3. Its recent executive turnover comes amid a significant business restructuring, involving the closure of 50 big-box stores and 400 corporate layoffs.