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Best Buy Probe Into Former CEO Dunn’s Conduct Continues

Best Buy Says Probe Into Former CEO Dunn’s Conduct Continues
A Best Buy store in New York. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Best Buy Co.’s probe into former Chief Executive Officer Brian Dunn’s personal conduct remains open after the electronics retailer’s interim CEO told employees the disclosure of Dunn’s departure was confusing.

Mike Mikan, director and interim CEO, assured 167,000 employees worldwide in an e-mail today that the Richfield, Minnesota-based company will keep them apprised of developments.

Best Buy, the world’s largest electronics retailer, announced Dunn’s resignation yesterday, saying that the change was part of a “mutual agreement” that new leadership was needed. The company later said a board committee was investigating Dunn’s “personal conduct, unrelated to the company’s operations or financial control.”

“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 said in the e-mail. “I’m very aware that was difficult to read and experience.”

Best Buy will “redouble our efforts to ensure employees learn about important company news from us, first,” Mikan said. A copy of the e-mail was provided to Bloomberg News by the company.

The shares of Best Buy rose 3 percent to $21.96 at the close in New York. The stock has dropped 6 percent this year.

“Brian’s resignation certainly had an effect on the investigation, but the investigation remains open,” Greg Hitt, a spokesman for Best Buy’s board, said today in an e-mailed statement. “Board is still looking into these issues, the investigation has not been closed.”

The company won’t discuss the conduct it is investigating or elaborate on the statement, Hitt said by telephone.

The retailer has been cutting jobs and shifting to smaller store formats amid competition from Internet retailers such as Inc. The company said last month it would close 50 U.S. big-box stores this year and expand its smaller Best Buy Mobile stores to as many as 800 outlets by its fiscal 2016, from 305 now.

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