NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- It is rare that the founder and longtime leader of a company, a man with enough company stock to stuff a ship's hull and raise the deck, is forced out. Such a departure has myriad implications, but the media are missing most in the case of Best Buy (BBY).
Best Buy's board kicked Richard Schulze out as chairman. This followed the investigation into former CEO Brian Dunn's affair with a subordinate. Schulze apparently knew about it, but kept mum.
Meanwhile, Best Buy is competing furiously (and somewhat ineffectively) with the likes of Amazon (AMZN) and Apple (AAPL). How will Schulze's firing alleviate or contribute further to Best Buy's currently fractured state?The media, as always, are flailing about. Investor's Business Daily, for example, mentions that Schulze founded the company, but not that he founded it a half century ago. If Best Buy survives, they must adapt -- and freeing themselves of Schulze's old school ways is probably a needed first step. Moreover, they forgot to mention that Schulze's owns 20 percent of the stock. If he starts selling, it won't be pretty. Forbes did a better job, rightly noting in both the headline and lead that "this is a very big deal." But in pointing out that Schulze was a period piece and the company's new leader would have freedom and power in his absence, Investor's Business Daily neglects the obvious: If a board unseats a chairman who founded the company when the Beatles were just getting started -- who still has a controlling interest -- any new leader might be comparatively powerless. The board may prove an intimidating force, making it hard to attract anyone forceful. All food for thought -- not offered by the media.
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