PR ploy or engagement coup? New Best Buy chief working on sales floor

In his first week on the job, the electronics retailer’s chief executive is trying to silence critics by spending time as a salesman. What else is he communicating?

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He’ll be spending a lot of his time in one of those well-known blue polo shirts, selling merchandise on a store floor in Minnesota.

So why is he doing this? According to Reuters, he’s butting against criticism that he doesn’t have adequate retail experience.

Kelly Groehler, Best Buy’s director of external relations, says there’s more to it.

“Our stores and our Geek Squad services are two critical channels for our business, and they represent best where the employee experience and the customer experience intersect,” she says. “Hubert is committed to engaging with our employees, and our channels, as he takes on the leadership of Best Buy.”

Expert opinion is mixed on whether this week of retail work will effectively push back against critics and engage with employees.


“I believe only good can come from a CEO’s spending time on the front lines of their business,” says Robert Holland, owner of independent consulting firm Holland Communication Solutions. “Not only do they get a ground-level view of the business, but it gives them a chance to communicate directly with the people who are closest to their customers.”

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