Best Buy Names New CEO for China Operations
Best Buy Company, Inc., said Wednesday that it named Meng Zhou CEO of its China operations. Zhou will oversee Best Buy’s Five Star electronics retail chain and its online and digital sectors in China.
Best Buy bought Five Star, one of China’s largest electronics retailers, for $180 million in 2006. In the past, it was cited as a key component in the company’s international growth strategy.
“Five Star has built a strong presence in the world’s largest and rapidly growing consumer electronics market,” Zhou said in a Wednesday statement. “We will be developing our e-commerce capabilities and enhancing the shopping experience in physical stores, with a focus on fast-growing categories like mobile phones.”
For the past five years, Zhou was CEO of China operations for Central Retail Group, which Best Buy described as the largest retailer in Thailand. Before that, Zhou served as executive vice president and chief operating officer for China Paradise Electrical Limited, which, according to Best Buy, is the third largest electrical and electronic retailer in China based on stores, of which it has 200.
“The size and growth of the Chinese market and consumer demand for better technology solutions requires us to have a leader with a strong vision and proven ability to adapt to a rapidly changing marketplace,” Shari Ballard, president of Best Buy International, said in a statement. “Mr. Zhou has deep experience in retail and consumer electronics and I know how committed he is to moving the business forward.”
Zhou replaced Nicholas Wang, who left the company in March in the wake of a long stretch of executive turnover at Best Buy.
Zhou's appointment comes shortly after Best Buy announced plans to exit another foreign market, Europe, by divesting its 50 percent stake in a European joint venture for roughly $775 million. Amid Best Buy’s turnaround effort, which involves focusing on its North American operations, there had been speculation that the company would divest both its European joint venture and its Five Star brand in China.
Best Buy is Minnesota’s third-largest public company based on revenue, which totaled $45.1 billion in its most recent fiscal year.