NEW YORK – Struggling consumer electronics chain Best Buy said Monday that a former Williams-Sonoma executive will become its new chief financial officer, beginning Dec. 10.
It’s the latest executive move for the Minneapolis company since turnaround expert Hubert Joly joined as CEO in August.
Best Buy is trying to reverse a decline in its business due to a weak global economy and tough competition from online stores and discounters.
Sharon L. McCollam, 50, had been chief operating officer and chief financial officer at the home goods retailer before retiring. She also takes the title of chief administrative officer at Best Buy.
She succeeds James L. Muehlbauer, who said in October that he was leaving. Muehlbauer will continue to advise the company until the end of the fiscal year in February.
ISI Group analyst Greg Melich said McCollam is a solid choice to succeed Muehlbauer. Although she lacks direct consumer electronics experience, he said, there are similarities between the two retailers. One similarity: Williams-Sonoma sells big-ticket items that are cheaper online. But through service offerings and online “prowess,” Williams-Sonoma manages to sell 40 percent of its products directly.
The appointment of McCollam is one of several management changes made since Joly joined in August, after Best Buy CEO Brian J. Dunn’s departure in April following an investigation into his relationship with a female employee.
Joly has eliminated two top executive positions in the United States and hired Expedia executive Scott Durchslag to head global e-commerce.
Meanwhile, Best Buy co-founder and former Chairman Richard M. Schulze is considering a plan to take the company private.