Best Buy Pay Consultant Said to Quit Over Retention Bonuses

Millions in lump-sum cash payments and restricted stock cause firestorm.

Best Buy store Best Buy store

July 24 (Bloomberg) -- A compensation consultant to Best Buy Co.’s board quit after the electronics chain awarded more than 100 managers retention bonuses without tying them to performance, said three people with knowledge of the matter.

Don Delves, who worked with Best Buy’s compensation committee for seven years as an independent consultant, was opposed to the payments, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the situation is private. Delves, president of the Chicago-based Delves Group, a corporate governance and an executive pay advisory firm, confirmed in a telephone interview that he resigned this month.

“There were no performance criteria or metrics tied to it at all, which is sort of unusual,” said Frank Trestman, chairman of Richfield, Minnesota-based Best Buy’s compensation committee for 12 years until he resigned from the board in 2010. “You always try to tie it or at least couple it with some other offer that is performance related so it’s not just a matter of sticking around.”

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