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Best Buy digital chief Stephen Gillett has resigned after just nine months at the embattled consumer electronics retailer. He’ll be joining Symantec as its COO.
Best Buy had recruited Gillett from Starbucks, where he served as CIO. The hiring was widely praised and considered a coup for the big box store.
Gillett, considered a star exec, was tasked with bridging the gap between the online and physical realms and bring the Best Buy’s business into the future.
The move caught Best Buy management by surprise, according to Thomas Lee at the Star-Tribune. He describes the news as a “stunning twist” in the Best Buy saga.
And that it is.
Gillett was supposed to be Best Buy’s digital saviour . CEO Hubert Joly had just talked him up at the company’s last big investor meeting.
“To Best Buy employees, demoralized by years of hearing about their impending doom, Gillett was a godsend.” wrote Wired’s Michael Copeland in a profile of Gillett in November. “They nicknamed him Neo, a reference to the messianic hero of The Matrix.”
A spokesperson insists that Gillett wasn’t unhappy at the retailer, but he got an opportunity he “could not pass up.”
“I will miss the wonderful teams at Best Buy,” Gillett tweeted today. “Our time together was short, but our friendships and experiences lifelong. Thank you.”
CFO Sharon McCollam replaces Gillett has head of IT, while Scott Durchslag takes over marketing and e-commerce.
Work at Best Buy and know more? Shoot an email to [email protected].