But, criticism of Joly only goes so far. He has no business as CEO of a dying retailer in need of wholesale, visionary transformation. That said, I can't blame him for taking the gig. It's a sweet deal (you can see details at the
). More power to Joly.
But less power to the Best Buy board of directors for making this move in the first place. They not only hired Joly, they waited a month for the guy's visa to clear before he could start. They waited for Hubert Joly ... seriously.
The board, with the assistance of the same
search firm that helped Yahoo! nail Mayer
, hired Joly. Joly reports to this board. It's their fault, not his, that he's failing.
Investors need to go after the Best Buy board. In a perfect world that makes sense, but it doesn't work that way.
Unless a major shareholder -- a big fund, a Carl Ichan, a Warren Buffett -- makes a move, there's not much investors, particularly at the retail level, can do to rattle an inept board of directors' cage.
While it's often the guy who loses his butt on 100 or 1,000 shares that gets hurt the most, these people have no recourse. Thousands of disparate shareholders, each with a few shares here or there, can't possibly band together to send the message and incite change within a company the size of Best Buy. Founder Richard Schulze is having a hard enough time and he's actually got some clout.
All you can do is write off up to $3,000 of your loss on your taxes each April.
In a perfect world, shareholders could band together -- like voters are able to do, theoretically, in American politics -- and oust a board for driving a hurting company further into the ground. But this world's not perfect. Joly and the board that hired him keep getting richer, while the rank-and-file BBY shareholder suffers.
--Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.