Best Buy names new digital leader

March 9, 2012

MHTA – Richfield based Best Buy has announced Stephen Gillett of Starbucks has been named executive vice president and president, Best Buy Digital and Global Business Services. He will begin reporting to CEO Brian Dunn next week.

“I am delighted that Stephen is joining Best Buy and look forward to having him as a member of our team as we seek to improve returns and accelerate growth opportunities,” said CEO Dunn. “Stephen is highly regarded for his creativity, innovation, and commitment to developing unparalleled customer experiences. His tremendous accomplishments at Starbucks speak to his drive and focus.”

Gillett, age 36, was mostly recently executive vice president, Digital Ventures, and chief information officer at Starbucks. According to a news release, Gillett designed and led Starbucks efforts to enhance the overall global business operations and improve the customer experience through the use of innovative technology and digital experiences worldwide.

In 2011, while at Starbucks, Gillett was named to Fortune’s “Executive Dream Team” as one of only two CIOs among the 25 executives recognized. That same year, he was named Information Week’s “Chief of the Year” and to Fortune’s “40 Under 40” list. He also was the recipient of the 2010 Aspen Institute Henry Crown Fellowship.

In this newly created position, Gillett is tasked with accelerating the transformation and growth of Best Buy through the advancement of the company’s global digital strategy, digital marketing, entertainment offerings, multi-channel capabilities and business development. Through his leadership of the enterprise’s ecommerce businesses, information technologies and global shared services, Gillett will have oversight of the critical capabilities necessary to make technology a bigger part of the customer experience while enhancing operations and processes.

“I am excited to join Best Buy at this point in the company’s transformation and to work together in innovating and expanding its offerings into a broad multi-channel environment that integrates stores, digital, mobile and social, while continuing to strengthen the customer experience and business operations. The company has a unique and compelling advantage because it touches customers in so many ways in today’s connected global marketplace,” said Gillett.

Gillett, an avid gamer, is widely considered one of the most innovative Guild Masters in World of Warcraft, the massive multi-player online role-playing game where millions of gamers enter a virtual world creating guilds, engaging socially, questing and celebrating achievements. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Oregon and an MBA from San Francisco State University.

Earlier this week, Best Buy chief technology officer Robert Stephens announced he was leaving the company and moving to California. In a blog post, he wrote that he had not planned to stay at the company more than ten years. Stephens founded by the Geek Squad which began joint operations with Best Buy in 2002.


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