US economy

Best Buy board investigating allegations CEO Corie Barry had relationship with employee, reports say

Another Best Buy CEO is being investigated for an alleged romantic relationship with a colleague.

Best Buy’s board is investigating allegations that CEO Corie Barry had an inappropriate romantic relationship with a fellow executive, who has since left the electronics retailer, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

According to the Journal, the board received an anonymous letter about the allegations Dec. 7, which claimed Barry had a romantic relationship for years with former Best Buy Senior Vice President Karl Sanft before she took over as CEO last June. 

Officials with Best Buy did not immediately respond to USA TODAY’s request for comment.

“Best Buy takes allegations of misconduct very seriously,” a company spokesman told the Journal, noting the company said its board has hired the law firm Sidley Austin LLP to conduct an independent review that is ongoing. 

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“We encourage the letter’s author to come forward and be part of that confidential process,” the Best Buy spokesman told the Journal. “We will not comment further until the review is concluded.”

Barry has been CEO since June 2019 and with Best Buy since 1999. She became chief financial officer in 2016. 

She is not the first CEO to be investigated over an alleged relationship with a subordinate. 

In 2012, Richard Schulze, who founded Best Buy in 1966 and is its largest shareholder, resigned as chairman and left the board after a company investigation found he knew about an inappropriate relationship then-CEO Brian Dunn had with a female staffer.

This story will be updated.

Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko


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