Best Buy Interim CEO Reassures Workers After Dunn’s Exit

In a companywide message, G. Mike Mikan said that the work being performed to address the company's challenges "absolutely must continue" and assured workers that he and other senior leaders are creating a blueprint for growth.

Best Buy Company, Inc., interim CEO G. Mike Mikan-who was appointed following Brian Dunn's abrupt resignation on Tuesday-reached out to workers Wednesday in an attempt to provide reassurance about the electronic retailer's future.

In a companywide message, Mikan said that the work being performed to address Best Buy's challenges “absolutely must continue.” He listed those challenges as improving the customer and employee experiences, re-energizing the store portfolio, reducing costs, and driving global growth strategies.

He also assured workers that he and other senior leaders are creating a “blueprint for growth” that's designed to “position Best Buy for sustained, profitable growth in the years ahead.”

Mikan, a Minnesota native who has served on Best Buy's board since 2008, formerly served as chief financial officer of Minnetonka-based UnitedHealth Group, Inc., and as CEO of its Optum subsidiary. He left UnitedHealth last July.

In his Wednesday message, in addition to introducing himself and touching on Best Buy's growth plans, he was direct in addressing Dunn's still somewhat mysterious exit.

“I know the news of Brian's departure was a surprise, and that the shift in focus of the news coverage later in the day likely raised additional questions for many of you,” Mikan wrote. “I'm very aware that was difficult to read and experience. As the coverage of Best Buy continues, you have my commitment that we will redouble our efforts to ensure employees learn about important company news from us, first.”

Richfield-based Best Buy on Tuesday said that, “There was mutual agreement that it was time for new leadership to address the challenges that face the company.” It also stated that, “There were no disagreements between Mr. Dunn and the company on any matter relating to operations, financial controls, policies, or procedures.”

Shortly after making that announcement, Best Buy told several media outlets that Dunn's departure came amid an audit committee's investigation into his “personal conduct.”

Citing an unnamed source close to Best Buy, the Star Tribune reported Thursday that the company's board is investigating allegations that Dunn used company resources to carry out an inappropriate relationship with a female employee. Best Buy hasn't confirmed that assertion but declined when asked whether it wanted to challenge the newspaper's reporting.

Best Buy has, however, vowed to publicly release the findings of the investigation that's now underway and said that it would “take appropriate action,” according to the Star Tribune. Company officials reportedly expect to release the report in a matter of weeks.