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Best Buy Co., Inc. (BBY)
2013 Regular Shareholders' Meeting Conference Call
June 20, 2013 10:30 AM ET
Hatim Tyabji - Independent Chairman
Hubert Joly - President and Chief Executive Officer
Bill Seymour - VP, Investor Relations
Unidentified Company Representative
Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Hatim Tyabji.
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As I explained in my letter to the shareholders accompanying our proxy statement. This has been a tumultuous period for Best Buy. This time last year, the CEO had just left the Company in a highly public exit. Our founder and Chairman of the Board had resigned and the possibility that this Company might be acquired and taken private loomed large. A year later, everything is different, and happily everything has changed. A stock that dipped as low as $11 now hovers around $27 to $28.
The Board of Directors undertook a process last spring, the result of which was the recruitment of a world-class CEO, Hubert Joly, an Executive with proven turnaround and transformation abilities. Since his arrival, only 10 short months ago, Hubert and I have developed a close personal relationship, reinforced by my belief that he has the intellect, energy and desire to restore this company and to take it to heights only yet imagined. Indeed I am honored to call him on both a friend and a colleague.
Only a year ago, we had a shareholder base that doubted our collective ability to recruit and retain world class talent. That base now lauds the executive team we have built comprised of new hires and long time employees. We were an enterprise that was once hemorrhaging employees and suffering from declining morale, now we have the highest employee engagement scores in years. This was a company distracted by its joint venture in Europe that now exiting that very joint venture at a very fair price.
Finally, our largest shareholder Dick Schulze has returned to the fold, not as a member of the board but as Best Buy's Chairman Emeritus. At a very personal level, Dick, it is my distinct pleasure and privilege to welcome you back.
All this accomplished in just under a year. All this made possible by the sheer determination of the Board, the skill of the management team it put in place and most importantly, the hard work of the men and women of Best Buy. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it was a hard year but it was also a year of enormous success and even greater gratification. We navigated our way through countless and in many cases unprecedented obstacles and arrived at the place we are today. I say all this knowing full well that the journey is far from complete. Yes, we are on firmer footing, but there is still a great deal of work and challenge ahead of us.
Hubert will take you through the business in more detail but I wanted to take a moment to talk about Best Buy's transformation known to all as Renew Blue. First laid out in November of last year, only two months after Hubert joined the company, Renew Blue is the blueprint by which this company is transforming itself.
Under the flag of Renew Blue, you have seen a rededication to customers, employees, vendors and shareholders. This includes agreements like the ones recently announced with Samsung and Microsoft, the company's increased investment in e-commerce and its industry leading low price guarantee, the critical work of reducing cost that has already yielded hundreds of millions of dollars in savings.
Renew Blue is still in its infancy, but I speak for the Board, when I say that we are enthusiastic about what it has helped this company to accomplish to date and where it will help take it in the future. With that in mind I would like to introduce my fellow Directors, with me at the front of the room are Hubert Joly our President and Chief Executive Officer and the Director of the company and Kathy Higgins Victor, the Chair of our nomination corporate governance and public policy committee. Also at the table, are Sharon McCollam our Chief Administrative and Chief Financial Officer and Keith Nelsen our Secretary and General Counsel.
Other directors are in the front row and they are Lisa Caputo, Ron James, Sanjay Khosla and Gerard Vittecoq. Joining them are three new Directors Russ Fradin joined our Board three months ago and comes to us as the CEO of SunGard. He brings deep expertise in business systems and operations as well as executive compensation. Russ, we welcome you to your first shareholder meeting.
By contrast, this is not to put it mildly the first shareholder meeting for the remaining two directors. Brad Anderson and Al Lenzmeier were executives and directors of this company for decades, both of whom have helped lead Best Buy's past growth. We're indeed pleased to have their experience and wisdom and warmly welcome them back.
I would also like to introduce our other executives in attendance; Shari Ballard, President of International; Scott Durchslag, President of E-Commerce and Marketing; Matt Furman, Chief Communications and Public Affairs Officer; Mike Mohan, President of Home; and Carol Surface, our Chief Human Resource Officer. Also joining us are representatives from our independent accounting firm, Deloitte & Touche, Troy Short, lead client service partner, [Nathan Nunn] [ph], Audit Senior Manager and [Scott Ericsson] [ph], the Audit partner.