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Does Best Buy Have Any Respect for Women, Itself?

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Some of the things we, as a society, think are OK floor me. We turn the other cheek to so much crap I wonder if I live alone in an alternate reality with my fits of distress.

In case you haven't noticed there's a war against women raging. It's not as overt as it once was, but it might actually be worse -- more damning -- in its subtleness.


Of course, there's the backlash against Yahoo! (YHOO) CEO Marissa Mayer for instituting a perfectly-reasonable work-at-home policy. You know if Marissa was a man we would have paid much less attention to the whole issue, let alone sat by as reporter after reporter got the story irresponsibly wrong.

Just a couple weeks later, the media proved my point, giving Tesla Motors (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk a free pass for parenting-related comments it would have trashed Mayer for.

Now, Wall Street touts Best Buy (BBY - Get Report) as it executes a faux turnaround with phase two about to be overseen, at least in part, by the same crew that presided over the company's implosion at the hands of Amazon.com (AMZN).

But, what makes things worse is something I touched on in Monday's above-cited article: Best Buy founder Richard Schulze, who originally wanted to take the company private, is back in the picture as chairman emeritus of the board. He'll likely end up with what amounts to three board seats, as he has nominated his old CEO (Brad Anderson) and COO (Al Lenzmeier) to join him.

The business angle is bad enough. But how soon we forget the extracurricular turmoil of last summer that Schulze only made worse.

That's the kicker for me. That's the thing I just can't get by. I can't understand why not one member of the media has the guts to bring up the obvious.


Here's the history on Schulze from a June 7, 2012, The New York Times story:

Management upheaval continued at Best Buy, as its founder, Richard Schulze, said Thursday he would leave the board earlier than expected . . .
It is the latest personnel retreat for the retailer stemming from the abrupt resignation of the former chief executive Brian J. Dunn in April. Last month, the board reported that Mr. Dunn had had an inappropriate relationship with a female employee. An internal investigation revealed that Mr. Schulze had known about the relationship but did not tell the board about it.

Now, with that said, the Times did note that Schulze might have bolted early because of a disagreement with the board and management over Best Buy's strategic direction.

He should have been kicked out right alongside Dunn for what happened with the female staffer. So, maybe he wasn't, but the timing was such that a reasonable person could connect Schulze's departure with the fact that he acted improperly because he had knowledge of Dunn's relationship, but did nothing about it. At the time, it appeared that Best Buy, moving swiftly and transparently, was cleaning things up, first by ousting Dunn and then dealing with Schulze.

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