Authors: Carmen Cox
(NEW YORK) -- New details have emerged about the female employee with whom Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn reportedly had an “inappropriate relationship,” according to The Wall Street Journal.
The unnamed woman, reported to be 29, worked in a leadership training institute at the company’s headquarters in Richfield, Minn. Best Buy declined to comment to the Journal whether she was still employed, or to detail her exact duties. She also declined to comment to the Journal.
The newspaper reported that a person close to her said the incidents that led to complaints to the board were “something small that people blew out of proportion.”
The Minneapolis Star Tribune first reported that Dunn’s departure was related to whether he misused company resources in an “inappropriate relationship.” The company announced it was probing an undisclosed “personal conduct” matter late Tuesday. That was after the company first announced Dunn’s resignation by “mutual agreement” earlier that day.
In a 28-year career at Best Buy Co., Dunn, 51, rose up from the sales floor to become CEO. He was the third CEO of the company in 2009 after joining the electronics retailer in the 80s, never having graduated from college. Dunn’s wife was often by his side at public events, the Wall Street Journal reported. The two have three sons.
The Star Tribune reported that was being investigated by the board of directors for the use of company resources to carry out an inappropriate relationship.
“We’re not commenting on any details of investigation,” a spokesperson for the board told ABC News. “The investigation is ongoing. We just don’t have any additional comment at this time. The board findings will be made public and appropriate action will be made at the time if warranted.”
The findings from the board are expected to be released within the next few weeks, a source told ABC News.
In the first statement early Tuesday, the company wrote, “there were no disagreements between Mr. Dunn and the company on any matter relating to operations, financial controls, policies or procedures. There was mutual agreement that it was time for new leadership to address the challenges that face the company.”
Later on Tuesday, the company said, “Certain issues were brought to the board’s attention regarding Mr. Dunn’s personal conduct, unrelated to the company’s operations or financial controls, and an audit committee investigation was initiated. Prior to the completion of the investigation, Mr. Dunn chose to resign.”
News of the resignation came while the company suffers from tight competition from other electronics retailers like Amazon and Apple.
In late March, Best Buy announced restructuring plans after weak quarterly results. Interim Chief Executive G. Mike Mikan wrote in an email to employees that there has not been an interruption in the plan, the Wall Street Journal reported, which includes trimming 50 of its 1,100 stores, adding smaller stores focused on mobile phones and laying off another 400 employees to cut costs.
“I know the news of Brian’s departure was a surprise, and that the shift in focus of the news coverage later in the day likely raised additional questions for many of you,” Mikan wrote in the email. “I’m very aware that was difficult to read and experience.”
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