The great challenge of Hubert Joly, the French propelled to the head of Best Buy
The announcement is unusual enough for us to dwell on it: Frenchman Hubert Joly was appointed last week as head of Best Buy, American giant in the sale of electronic goods. Several major challenges await the fiftieth anniversary, specializing in corporate restructuring, but not necessarily in distribution …
The information made the rounds of Twitter last week. Hubert Joly, ex-HEC and Sciences-po Paris, has been appointed head of Best Buy, number 1 in electronic distribution in the United States. The man in his fifties, who until now was in charge of the hotel group Carlson, comes to replace Mike Mikan, temporary president since the departure of Brian Dunn. Hubert Joly will officially take office in September.
A lapse of time which should allow him to obtain his visa and perhaps also to recharge his batteries, because the least we can say is that Hubert Joly will have his work cut out for him. Indeed, the American company is currently in great difficulty with $ 1 billion in losses recorded over the previous fiscal year and a restructuring plan counting on $ 800 million in savings. In addition to these accounting challenges, Buy Best also faces dissonance within its shareholder base. The founder, Mr. Schulze, who owns 20% of the capital, would like to buy the entire company.
Hubert Joly will therefore have to use all of his experience acquired with various global groups. After 14 years in the United States with the McKinsey consulting firm, Hubert Joly joined the EDS group in 1996 and then joined the video games division of Vivendi in 1999. In 2008, he became head of the hotel group Carlson.
On the strength of this journey, Best Buy seems totally convinced of the potential of Hubert Joly, “who has the talent to put ailing companies back on their feet”. To the point where the American put on the table nearly $ 30M to convince the French to take the job. In details, Hubert Joly should therefore receive a base salary of $ 1.175 million to which are added bonuses amounting to $ 8.75 million as well as $ 20 million in compensation for his departure from the Carlson group.
However, this enthusiasm is not shared by all specialists in the field. The Wall Street Journal recalls that this choice has been criticized by some detractors who point the finger at the lack of experience of the French in the distribution. Brian Sozzi, analyst at Productions NBG asked about the recruitment process while analyst Michael Pachter expressed his incredible astonishment.
Man of the situation or not, Hubert Joly will therefore, in any case, have to manage nearly 167,000 employees and above all give Best Buy the means to face the terrible competition represented by the giants of the web in this area.