Enough lamenting the hiring of Hubert Joly.
Best Buy's Board of Directors will not take my advice and fire him, but the company should hear me out and consider a partnership with Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN)
Interestingly, according to a former senior director at Best Buy, Chad Bell, this isn't the first time the idea has come up. (I knew that, by the way!)
For the record, I contacted Bell via email to make sure he was all right with me printing his comment. I was just being thorough because, after all, he made the comment very publicly on one of my social media profiles.
I have talked to Bell in the past when he worked at Best Buy about interesting electric vehicle-related initiatives that, as far as I know, also went nowhere.
A few other interesting things here.
First, the obvious. Bell publicly noting that his team brought the idea of an Amazon partnership to management who not only reacted with a blank stare, but, allegedly, laid down an "edict" that barred "partnering with Amazon no exceptions." Bell's words, not mine.
Second, Jennie Weber, who "liked" that LinkedIn post, also used to work for Best Buy. Her LinkedIn profile states that she was a Geek Squad Marketing Manager for nearly three years, a Senior Marketing Manager for two, and a Marketing Director for one. Weber left the company earlier this year.
I did not get a hold of Weber so I can only assume a "like" means she thinks an Amazon partnership isn't a bad idea.
Third, I have talked, over the months, to several current and past Best Buy employees who feel the same way.
It doesn't take a sleuth to figure out that many people who used to be or are currently inside the building do not like the way things are going. They see the potential to innovate. They see pieces in place to trigger meaningful progress, but they feel constrained by a board, and now a CEO, that doesn't understand the level of change necessary to incite drastic transformation.
Worse yet, it's probably more than a comprehension problem. This board and CEO simply do not have the capacity -- and I am talking from a big picture, how they view the world perspective -- to act big and bold enough.
I would guess the people who, according to Bell, put down the no partnership with Amazon hammer did so for at least one of two reasons: They can't swallow their pride after a good old-fashioned butt whipping, or they think Amazon would laugh at them for even uttering the notion of partnership.
That's where a) the mindset at Best Buy needs to change, and b) the company needs to send the right people into the room with Amazon. I discuss this crucial ingredient in the article I cite in the first paragraph of this piece.
Despite how bruised and battered it is -- at the hands of Amazon -- Jeff Bezos could use Best Buy.
The company has a massive retail footprint that Amazon could leverage.