Best Buy continued to haemorrhage senior executives this week with the resignation of UK marketing director Kevin Styles and the company’s commercial director Harry Parmar.
These latest departures closely follow the exiting of Scott Wheway, CEO of Best Buy Europe, last week and DeVere Forster, Best Buy’s online business chief, who quit just two months after the launch of its e-commerce site.
Paul Antoniadis, Best Buy’s branded operations chief, also exited the business just three months after Best Buy opened its first European store in Thurrock, Essex.
This succession of management departures has fuelled speculation that Best Buy is unhappy with the delayed roll out of its stores in the UK. The US retail giant had ambitions to roll out a network of 80 stores in rapid succession but one year on it has opened just six stores.
It is also expected to post losses of around £55m next year, according to analysts, as it struggles to break into the UK market faced with concerted opposition from DSGi.
A Best Buy spokeswoman told Mobile that Styles resignation was ‘down to the integration of the two brands.’ She added that Styles will not be replaced. Instead, Jeff Severts, chief marketing officer of Best Buy Europe will take over Styles' responsibilities.
The spokeswoman said Parmar was leaving Best Buy UK ‘for personal reasons’ and is returning to Canada where he will assume a senior position at Best Buy’s Canadian enterprise.
A Best Buy spokesman said Wheway had not resigned. 'He stepped aside', he added. Wheway will continue to work as a strategic advisor to Best Buy’s chief executive officer Brian Dunn until he returns to the Best Buy HQ in Minnesota this summer.
Wheway has been replaced by Andrew Harrison, COO of the joint venture between Carphone Warehouse and Best Buy. Announcing the move last week, Dunn said: ‘This move has been planned for some time and is part of our overall strategy of integrating the Best Buy and Carphone Warehouse teams.’
Best Buy said its store roll out was on track with another five planned this year.
Best Buy has six stores in the UK at Thurrock, Hedge End, Southampton, Merry Hill in Birmingham, Aintree in Liverpool, Croydon and Derby.
A Best Buy store in Cribbs Causeway in Bristol is due to open this spring, with stores in Nottingham, Hayes and Rotherham expected to open by the summer. A store in Enfield is due to open this autumn.