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Best Buy opens investigation into allegations of misconduct by CEO

Best Buy is investigating allegations of misconduct against its CEO Corie Barry, a company spokesperson said on Friday.The board launched the review a...

Posted: Jan 20, 2020 10:52 AM

Best Buy is investigating allegations of misconduct against its CEO Corie Barry, a company spokesperson said on Friday.

The board launched the review after receiving a letter containing the allegations, the spokesperson said.

"Best Buy takes allegations of misconduct very seriously," the spokesperson said in an emailed statement to CNN Business. "Upon the receipt of an anonymous letter containing allegations against our CEO, the Audit Committee of the Board immediately retained outside counsel, Sidley Austin LLP, to conduct an independent review that is ongoing. We encourage the letter's author to come forward and be part of that confidential process. We will not comment further until the review is concluded."

The company spokesperson did not detail what allegations were made in the letter.

Barry said in a statement that "The Board has my full cooperation and support as it undertakes this review, and I look forward to its resolution in the near term."

The Wall Street Journal, which reviewed the letter, reported the letter alleged that Barry had an inappropriate romantic relationship with a fellow executive before she took over as CEO last June.

Barry, a longtime Best Buy executive, is one of a small handful of women who lead a Fortune 500 company. Before taking over as CEO, she served as the company's chief financial and strategic transformation officer.

Best Buy is one of just a few old-school retailers to thrive in the face of Amazon, and its also holding its own against retail powerhouses like Walmart and Target.

In its most recent earnings, Best Buy said that sales at stores open for at least one year increased by 1.7%, extending its consecutive sales growth streak to nearly three years.

Former chief executive Hubert Joly helped steer the company through upheaval in retail by beefing up customer service and turning stores into modern-looking showrooms. The company also lowered prices and built out an e-commerce infrastructure before many other retailers.

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