Former Best Buy CMO Judge Joins LivingSocial in Same Role

Barry Judge, who joined Best Buy in 1999 and left in May 2012, is among at least half a dozen key leaders who left the electronics retailer last year.

Eight months after leaving his post as chief marketing officer (CMO) for Best Buy Company, Inc., Barry Judge has joined daily-deal company LivingSocial in the same role.
 
In his new position, Judge will oversee all aspects of marketing for Washington, D.C.-based LivingSocial, including online and offline advertising, brand management, social media, and communications.
 
“Barry is a giant in the field of marketing, and his decision to join our leadership team is a tremendous vote of confidence in our vision and opportunity for success,” LivingSocial CEO Tim O’Shaughnessy said in a statement. “Barry helped one of the world’s largest retailers build a powerhouse online and mobile presence, and we’re confident he can help us extend our own leadership in the local commerce space. With his experience and strategic insight, Barry will help us reach millions of new consumers and businesses around the world.”
 
Judge joined Richfield-based Best Buy in 1999 to help it launch bestbuy.com. He held a number of senior marketing positions at the electronics retailer before being named CMO in 2008. Upon his departure in May of last year, a Best Buy spokesman said he had left “to explore the next chapter in his career. . .”
 
After Judge’s departure, Stephen Gillett—then president of Best Buy’s digital and global business services division and an executive vice president—assumed oversight of the company’s marketing efforts. But Gillett left Best Buy last month to become executive vice president and chief operating officer at antivirus software firm Symantec.
 
Best Buy, which cut jobs and closed big-box stores last year, saw a major exodus of leaders in 2012. Aside from Judge and Gillett, others who have left include: Ryan Robinson, chief financial officer (CFO) for the company’s U.S. operations; Chief Technology Officer and Geek Squad founder Robert Stephens; and Dave Deno, CFO of Best Buy’s international division and president of its Asia region. (Former CEO Brian Dunn also left last April amid a scandal involving “an extremely close personal relationship with a female employee.”)
 
Upon Gillett’s departure, Best Buy said that his responsibilities had been re-assigned to other senior executives across the company, including Sharon McCollam, who joined the company last month as its chief administrative officer and CFO; Scott Durchslag, who came on board in October as senior vice president and president of online and global e-commerce; and Shawn Score, senior vice president of U.S. retail. Both McCollam and Durchslag were hired after Hubert Joly, former CEO of global hospitality company Carlson, took the reins in September.
 
Prior to joining Best Buy, Judge held positions at The Direct Marketing Group, ad agency Young & Rubicam, Coca Cola USA, The Quaker Oats Company, and the Pillsbury Company. He also served as vice president of marketing for Brooklyn Center-based Caribou Coffee Company.
 
“No other company in the local commerce landscape combines LivingSocial’s broad reach, deep consumer and merchant relationships, and strong reputation,” Judge said in a statement. “My career has been spent inventing and reinventing great brands, and LivingSocial has a unique opportunity to build a new industry from scratch by helping millions of local customers discover and share the best things to do in their cities.“
 
LivingSocial, which has more than 70 million members, sends daily e-mails targeting people in a variety of cities. It offers discounts on everything from weekend excursions, dinners, and events to various products.
 
The company is reportedly backed by Amazon.com, which owns a roughly 30 percent stake, and other venture investors. The Wall Street Journal reported that LivingSocial experienced a $565 million loss on revenue of $124 million during the third quarter of 2012. In November, it laid off 400 employees—or about 10 percent of its global work force.
 
Best Buy—for which founder and former Chairman Richard Schulze is working on a takeover bid—reported a net loss of $13 million, or 4 cents per share, from continuing operations for the quarter that ended November 3. That’s compared to net earnings of $173 million, or 47 cents per share, for the same period the previous year. Excluding restructuring charges, the company’s net loss totaled $10 million, or 3 cents per share—falling significantly short of the 12 cents that analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting.