G. Mike Mikan, the former interim CEO of Best Buy Co. Inc., has resigned from the board of the electronics retail giant — a move that may smooth the way for founder Richard Schulze to acquire the company.
Mikan resigned Dec. 26, Richfield-based Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) said Monday in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Mikan, who has been a Best Buy director since 2008, said it was necessary to leave because he had accepted a position of president of Greenwich, Conn.-based ESL investments Inc.
Best Buy also said that Matthew Paull, who has been a director since 2003, would leave the board April 20. The former McDonald's Corp. chief financial officer is leaving under the board requirement that a director must retire five years after ceasing to pursue the primary career he was pursuing when he was appointed to the board.
Sources told the Star Tribune it will be easier for Schulze to complete a deal to buy back the company he founded with Mikan and Paull off the board. They, along with current board Chairman Hatim Tyabji, pushed the hardest for Schulze to be removed from the board last spring. David Strasser, a retail analyst with Janney Capital Management, told the Star Tribune "there is a better chance of a deal" with Mikan and Paull off the board.
Schulze has been trying for months to put together a multi-billion-dollar deal to take Best Buy private. About two weeks ago the company agreed to allow him until Feb. 28 to make an offer.
Mikan is a former UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) executive who was named Best Buy's interim CEO in April. He replaced CEO Brian Dunn, who resigned amid an investigation over possible personal misconduct. Mikan, who was considered to become the permanent CEO, was replaced by Hurbert Joly in September.