Best Buy's digital chief leaves for Symantec

  • Article by: THOMAS LEE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 19, 2012 - 11:33 PM

Stephen Gillett had been with the retailer only since March, and his departure leaves questions.

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waterdogzDec. 19, 12 4:47 PM

My guess is he would've been DISPLACED by Schulze & Company. So he came to the same conclusion and went and found a good opportunity.

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swarusDec. 19, 12 9:13 PM

Another nail in the coffin. Sorry to say Amazon is going to eat them alive.

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drposterDec. 19, 12 9:16 PM

Not sure I should laugh at more.. BB sinking ship, or Symantec trying to fix their online biz since leaving digital river because they could do it better in house.

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Osh017Dec. 19, 12 9:28 PM

I wouldn't say that waterdogz. I was at Best Buy when he was hired and the guy brings top tech experience to Best Buy, something they drastically need. Part of his interview took place with Schultz and by all accounts (given it is heresay), they had a good relationship. My guess is that he simply realized there is no hope here. Gillette was a proponent of strengthening a relationship with Amazon (and coming from a Seattle area at Starbucks) he is friends with Jeff Bezos, Amazon's CEO. That idea was shunned by many Best Buy leaders. Gillette wanted Best Buy to think and act differently, but many leaders are so old school and decision making is done by committee rather than giving leaders the opportunity to implement their vision. JMO, he is realizing the juice is not worth the squeeze here. It's too bad because he is one of the few executives there that gave people hope for a turnaround.

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roymercerDec. 19, 12 9:43 PM

Big legacy companies - especially public ones - are impossible to fix without wholesale disruption. Probably wasn't worth the blood and tears for Gillette.

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arielbenderDec. 19, 1211:25 PM

I'm sure after 9 months he saw the writing on the wall quite clearly. Best Buy is an antiquated business model and slated for an inevitable trip to the dustbin of history.

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probsolverDec. 20, 12 5:21 AM

Know a large number of people still work there. They've been put through the ringer over the last decade with the mercurial, flavor of the day "strategic" directives. Cant understand why they stay other than they are afraid to hit the open market and look for jobs. That said, they did(at one time) pay above market for skillsets. Not sure if thats still the case.

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waterdogzDec. 20, 12 7:11 AM

Osh017 - interesting perspective. Although does anybody think cozying up to Amazon could save Best Buy? Now that the article has been expanded, it is also interesting to see how the other two executives came in with more ecommerce experience.

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rickbmnDec. 20, 12 7:34 AM

Not bad compensation for producing no discernable results. 344,000 shares (Over $4 million at today's price) plus the "undisclosed" settlement and the hefty pay while in office. Starbucks to BBY to Symantec... How is it that guys making millions and millions at the top keep moving company to company to make more while producing little? How many managers at BBY who actually DID do something received a fraction of this compensation. What's sad is that if Schulze buys back the company, ths stock will go up making Gillet wealthier.. again, for doing nothing.

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reetnhDec. 20, 12 8:48 AM

Good luck Best Buy!

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