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Irreconcilable Differences: Best Buy CEO Sells 450,000 Shares to Pay for Divorce

Divorce affecting small businesses

If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know that Best Buy has had a rough go in the business world for the last few years. However, with a new CEO at the helm since September of 2012, the company has been performing better and seems steady.

Recently news broke that CEO, Hubert Joly, was selling about 450,000 of his shares in the company, despite Best Buy’s stellar performance since he grabbed the reigns.

So why the sale?

It turns out it’s for completely personal reasons – not something that CEOs of big companies are known for.

Best Buy CEO Paying for Divorce

Chris Isidore reported on CNN Money that “Joly disclosed in a filing that he sold 451,153 shares [1] … for a total of $16.7 million.” The motivation is clear: Joly has to pay for a pricey divorce settlement.

This isn’t the first time that a Best Buy CEO has had public issues.  Less than 18 months ago that the previous Best Buy CEO, Brian Dunn, had resigned “upon mutual agreement. [2]”  His resignation was colored by allegations that he’d had an affair with a subordinate (he was married).  Dunn’s situation is unrelated to Joly’s stock sale.

Wall Street is definitely watching.  This report was in most of the major financial news outlets.   However, most analysts are still bullish on the company, despite the sale.

Most people, like Dhanya Skariachan of Reuters, reporting in the Christian Science Monitor, recognize that Best Buy is currently on a comeback [3] – with stock tripling over last year’s. In reality, Joly has done an excellent job at turning Best Buy around from a 9-year low on Wall Street.

Shutterstock: divorce [4] image

Correction:  This story was corrected as to Wall Street’s reaction and other details.