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Best Buy CEO, Brad Anderson Believes Empowering Employees Key to Success

by - Nov 09, 2005

Author: Chris Van Wagenen, Lubbock Avalanche Journal Business Editor

“Best Buy CEO visits the Rawls College of Business and the Chief Executives”

Best Buy CEO believes empowering employees key to success


Brad Anderson was an average student with a disdain for big business when he was growing up.

Then he went to work as sales person at Best Buy – a company he can relate to now more than ever.

“I started there because I had a love for music and what better place can you work and hear it,” the company’s vice chairman and chief executive officer told members of Texas Tech’s Chief Executive’s Roundtable Tuesday at the Merket Alumni Center.

Brad Anderson, vice chairman and chief executive officer of Best Buy, speaks to members of Texas Tech’s Chief Executive’s Roundtable Tuesday at Merket Alumni Center.

Anderson said many of the reasons he joined Best Buy’s predecessor, Sound of Music, are the same reasons he leads the massive chain today – relying on workers who have been empowered to make decisions over and above what corporate headquarters is thinking.

“When you become a CEO, you have to have a point of view. For me, it was grafted out of my own experiences. We’re using and unleashing human capital today in ways companies have never done before,” he said.

Anderson said the Richfield, Minn.-based chain has done so by giving its employees space to work with customers, while still helping them to build on their strengths.

He said employees, on the other hand, are looking to be compensated and recognized for their work while doing what they love.

Anderson said while Best Buy doesn’t have all the answers, the retail chain is on the right path – a path that’s now being emulated by other companies.

He calls it “customer centricity.”

Anderson said Best Buy isn’t as much about moving product out the door as it is creating “repeat relationships” that drive the customer through it.

He said Best Buy has done that by fitting its people into jobs that make use of their talents.

He said each of them have a “compelling” story to tell – a story that customers can relate to which, in turn, drives sales.

“Of course any advantage you have in business is a flash in time. It’s what kind of culture you build that makes you a success,” he said.

Best Buy Headquarters: Richfield, Minn.
Chief Executive Officer: Brad Anderson Stores: 741 (includes Canadian)
Sales: $27.4 billionn 1-Year sales growth: 11.8%n
Employees: 109,000n
Product revenue mix: Consumer electronics 40%; home office 34%; entertainment software 20%; and appliances 6%
Source: Best Buy/Hoovers.com

To comment on this story: chris.vanwagenen@lubbockonline.com 766-8744
karen.brehm@lubbockonline.com t 766-8706
To view this story at Lubbock OnLine