Best Buy Needs to Get a Grip and Hire a New, Visionary CEO

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- From any meaningful standpoint, the story at Best Buy (BBY) has not changed one bit since CEO Hubert Joly took over in 2012. I know I sound like I'm repeating myself, having written this same criticism throughout 2013 and 2014. But the reason is the company remains as screwed up as it was. The stock head faked on a magic carpet ride during 2013. This past holiday season proved more of the same and that will continue during and after the upcoming holiday season.

The Best Buy board of directors and Joly and their supporters at the company lack the vision to move the needle. Like so much of physical retail, Best Buy is mired in a culture of obviousness that encourages cosmetic tweaks while shutting out any talk of profound and potentially disruptive change.

For a more objective review of Best Buy's earnings, see this piece from TheStreet's always insightful retail guru Brian Sozzi.

To fully understand the Best Buy story, you have to look beyond this most recent earnings call. Wall Street tends to treat things as quarter-to-quarter surgical situations. A look to the past in Best Buy's case -- alongside this week's context -- proves this method to be inadequate.

Nothing Joly said on Best Buy's Tuesday post-earnings conference call suggests the company is doing anything other than what it did last year, which isn't all that different from the things Best Buy was doing two, three, five, 10 years ago. Here's the transcript of the call courtesy of Seeking Alpha. I have read it a dozen times searching for some sign that Joly subscribes to something other than retail business as usual. It's all about cost-cutting -- burning the furniture to build a fire as a Best Buy source put it to me last year -- and this feeble Renew Blue campaign, which does nothing more than put tinted windows, oversized wheels and spinning hubcaps on the dead and tired retail vehicle.

If you liked this article you might like

This Is How to Avoid Becoming Amazon Roadkill

Wall Street Overlooks Trump's North Korea Threats to Hit New Records

Best Buy Disappointment Sends Retailers Into a Spin