3. Best Buy French Fried
Best Buy (BBY) shareholders are feeling anything but jolly - or Joly - these days.
The flailing electronics retailer named Hubert Joly, the former head of hospitality and travel company Carlson, as its new CEO on Monday. Joly will take the reins from interim CEO Mike Mikan, who took the baton from former CEO Brian Dunn in April after Dunn was busted for engaging in an improper relationship with a female employee.Note to the French national Joly: Don't follow Dunn's example when it comes to the old joie de vivre. Let's keep that in our pants, shall we? That said, judging by the 10% selloff in the stock Monday, it's clear that Best Buy shareholders are feeling no love for Joly. As to how this background prepares him for selling stereos and flat panel TVs in strip malls, clearly shareholders have no idea and are voting with their feet. For that matter, we don't get the choice either, but who knows, maybe Joly has a ton of je ne sais quoi hidden somewhere and we're just missing it. Or maybe Best Buy's board is betting he can turnaround Best Buy like he did EDS in France, now part of Hewlett Packard (HPQ), and Vivendi's video game business, now part of Activision Blizzard (ATVI). Unfortunately, both of those reclamation projects took place in France over a decade ago before Apple ruled the earth. So, once again, we can understand the lack of l'amour fou surrounding the Frenchman's appointment. (Or as they say around Best Buy's headquarters in Richfield, Minn., autres temps, autres m¿urs.) Then again, it's not like Best Buy investors are in a mad rush to jump back in bed with the chain's founder Richard Schulze. Schulze announced his plan earlier this month to team up with private equity partners and buy the company for $24 to $26 per share. The Street, however, doesn't seem to take his offer seriously. Or at least they won't until he puts more skin in the game, which is why the stock now resides below $18. As for Best Buy's board, well, they have to take Schulze somewhat seriously considering he is the company's largest shareholder. Nevertheless, at this juncture they are looking forward to Joly as a potential savior, rather than backwards for another go-around with Schulze. The company, which, by the way, posted a 90% drop in net income on Tuesday, said Schulze declined its offer to take a buyout offer directly to shareholders. Schulze, of course, claims otherwise. Honestly, while we are scratching our heads over the selection of Joly, we certainly agree with the board that le temps, c'est de l'argent and they need to start saving the company instead of dealing with Schulze, who has turned himself into (pardon our French) a huge pain in the ass.
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