Corie Barry, Best Buy

corie_barry_bestbuyThe August 19 edition of HOMEWORLD BUSINESS® revealed the 14th annual “People To Watch” in housewares during the next 12 months.

Selected by HomeWorld Business editors, “People To Watch” represents a cross section of a diverse housewares business— from established to newly installed company leaders; from large to small operations, from big-box to specialty retailers; from trade show managers to celebrity endorsers.

The HomeWorld “People To Watch” are in the spotlight not only for how they might impact their respective organizations in the coming months, but also for how they might impact the overall housewares business.

Corie Barry, Best Buy, CEO

CREDENTIALS: When looking at the work history of Corie Barry, it’s easy to see that she was the natural choice to succeed Hubert Joly as Best Buy’s CEO.

For nearly 20 years, Barry has been with the Minneapolis, MN-based home electronics superstore having worked her way up the corporate ladder in a variety of positions that started on the financial side of the company.

Starting as a senior financial analyst when she joined the company in December of 1999, she would hold a variety of positions in various divisions including finance, the home business Group and Geek Squad. In 2016, she was named evp/CFO, a spot she would hold until being named CEO earlier this year.

WHAT TO WATCH: Best Buy, which was left for dead by many retail experts several years ago, experienced a revival under the leadership of Joly. Today, the company is riding a wave of success and is viewed as one of the nation’s top retailers. But today’s retail environment is as unpredictable as ever given the competitive environment and the ever-changing shopping behaviors of consumers.

The good news for Best Buy is that Barry has been in the building for quite some time and spent the past several years working with Joly to help execute what some felt was an improbable turnaround.

In a recent interview with the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Barry said holding the many positions she has had with Best Buy was no accident. She has a belief that having a breadth of experience is very important at a large company such as Best Buy.

That broad experience will come in handy as Best Buy works to stay nimble and fend off challenges from competitive retailers be they brick-and-mortar based or e-commerce pure-plays.

PERSPECTIVE: In published reports, Joly spoke glowingly of the woman who replaced him as Best Buy’s chief executive. He noted that his working relationship with Barry is one of the best he has had, adding that she is a very human, authentic and purposeful leader. He noted that when working to develop new corporate strategies, she reaches out to employees at all levels of the company.

2020 HomeWorld Business People To Watch (click on name for profile):

Rich Krause, Capital Brands

Jill Soltau, J.C. Penney

Marcelo Borges, Tramontina USA

Ross Patterson, Robinson Home

Dave Albert, Spectrum Brands

Christopher Banning, Meyer Corp. U.S.

Kris Malkoski, Arc Americas

Bryan Welsh, SodaStream U.S.

Todd Wanek, Ashley Furniture

Mike Otterman, Lodge

Mike Bauer, Libbey

Corie Barry, Best Buy

Lee Bird, At Home

Ryan Ross, Williams Sonoma

Mark Eichhorn, The Oneida Group

Ravi Saligram, Newell Brands

Derek Miller, International Housewares Association

Arthur Zambelli, Bradshaw Home

Mads Ryder, Lenox Corp.

Jay Jordan, Home Meridian