Best Buy is On the Prowl

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Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) has begun the search to fill its soon-to-be-vacant top spot after chief executive Brian Dunn resigned abruptly last week. The company expects to take six to nine months to find a permanent replacement for Dunn, who quit amid a probe into allegations of personal misconduct.

Board members Lisa Caputo, Ronald James, and Sanjay Khosla will be on the search committee chaired by Kathy Higgins Victor, who is also on the company’s compensation and human resources committee. The committee will meet to hire an external search firm that will then identify potential candidates. That choice will be announced in a few weeks. Best Buy chairman Richard Schulze, who controls nearly a fifth of company shares, is not part of the committee.

Caputo is an executive vice president at insurer Travelers (NYSE:TRV), James is the chief executive of a Minnesota-based business ethics consultancy, and Khosla is a president at Kraft Foods (NYSE:KFT). Potential candidates for the top position include interim CEO Mike Mikan, the retailer added in Friday’s statement.

Dunn has held the company’s top position since 2009, but resigned as the company board launched investigations into his alleged “inappropriate relationship” with a female employee, in which he also stands accused of using company resources.

The company has been struggling because of online rivals such as Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), which sells a lot of its own merchandise directly to customers via its Web portal, and recently announced it would close 50 big-box stores in the U.S. and cut 400 jobs. It registered losses of $1.7 billion last quarter and shares have dropped almost 6 percent so far this year.

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