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Best Buy’s Digital President Resigns to Join Symantec

Dec. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Best Buy Co., the world’s largest consumer-electronics retailer, said Stephen Gillett, president of its digital arm, will depart to take a “senior role” at Symantec Corp., a security software maker.

Gillett, who also held the title of executive vice president, will “pursue other career opportunities” at Symantec, where he already is a board member, Best Buy said in a statement today. Symantec said in a separate statement that Gillett has been appointed as executive vice president and chief operating officer. He will take up his role on Dec. 21, the Mountain View, California-based company said.

Gillett’s exit is the latest in a series of senior departures this year. Founder Richard Schulze resigned in June after an investigation found he failed to tell the board’s audit committee about allegations former Chief Executive Officer Brian Dunn was having an inappropriate relationship with an employee. Dunn resigned in April and Hubert Joly, the current CEO, took charge in September.

As Joly works to improve service as customers defect to Amazon.com Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc., former chairman Schulze is seeking to take the company private.

Best Buy said last week it extended until February a deadline for Schulze and his partners to make a proposal to buy the company. Schulze, 71, has been working with three private-equity firms, including Cerberus Capital Management LP, on a takeover of the electronics chain he founded more than four decades ago, according to people familiar with the matter.

Gillett’s duties have been reassigned to other senior executives, including Chief Administrative and Chief Financial Officer Sharon McCollam, President of Online and Global E-Commerce Scott Durchslag and Shawn Score, senior vice president of U.S. Retail, the company said.  

The shares fell 1.8 percent to $11.90 at the close in New York. Best Buy, based in Richfield, Minnesota, has fallen 49 percent this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Cotten Timberlake in Washington at ctimberlake@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Robin Ajello at rajello@bloomberg.net

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