Best Buy Co., Inc. announced changes in its leadership team to strengthen the company's global growth.
Darren Jackson, the company's chief financial officer for the past seven years and, more recently, CFO and head of the company's Emerging Business unit, has moved to the newly-created position of executive vice president, Customer Operating Groups.
Jim Muehlbauer has agreed to serve as Best Buy's interim CFO. Muehlbauer joined Best Buy in 2002 as the CFO of Musicland. Prior to that, Muehlbauer spent 10 years with The Pillsbury Company, where he held various senior-level finance management positions, including vice president and worldwide controller.
Kal Patel, formerly executive vice president, Strategy and International, assumes responsibility for portions of the Emerging Business unit, previously led by Jackson. In his new role, as executive vice president – Emerging Business SBU, Patel leads the company's efforts to initiate, incubate and implement growth opportunities while increasing the enterprise's capabilities for innovation. Patel joined Best Buy in 2003 as vice president, Strategy, and was named executive vice president, Strategy and International, in 2005.
Tim McGeehan, a 19-year veteran of Best Buy and current executive vice president, Retail Sales, has accepted a new enterprise role overseeing Best Buy Mobile and the enterprise's expanding global wireless business, through its relationship with The Carphone Warehouse Group PLC (CPW).
Shari Ballard assumes responsibility for the 872 Best Buy stores in the United States, including territory, district staff and store personnel, as well as customer research and development, including Best Buy's lab stores. Ballard, who has been with Best Buy since joining in 1993 as an assistant store manager, continues to have oversight for U.S. Web sites and Customer Care, including the call centers, duties she has held since August 2006.
Kevin Layden, president and chief operating officer of Best Buy Canada, Ltd., will become chief operating officer of Best Buy International, the strategic business unit focused on the enterprise's growth outside of the United States. In his new role, Layden will provide the operational leadership for the company as it continues to grow its presence in Canada and China and prepares to expand into Turkey and Mexico.
Mike Pratt will become president of Best Buy Canada, Ltd., with oversight of all Canadian operations, including the Future Shop and Best Buy stores, effective Jan. 4, 2008. He formerly was senior vice president for Best Buy Canada.
David Berg, who was senior vice president and chief operating officer of Best Buy International, assumes responsibility as senior vice president, International Strategy and Corporate Development. Berg joined Best Buy in 2002 as vice president and associate general counsel.
The company also has announced the hiring of Rebecca Wanta as Best Buy's chief information officer, North America. Most recently, Wanta was the global chief technology officer (CTO) for PepsiCo where she developed and commenced implementation of a multi-year technology strategy.