Joly, 52, gets a lot of credit for transforming Best Buy. He took over in 2012 and quickly jettisoned a disastrous effort to fend off the rise of Amazon by attempting to stand toe-to-toe with it. Instead, the combined effect of a changing consumer market and his dismal leadership strategy led to hundreds of thousands of layoffs and a 5-percentage-point decline in the share price.
For many months, Joly showed some of the appeal of his business acumen: In 2013, he spoke about Best Buy’s tough decisions for the first time, and as recently as October, he told the BBC that there was still a chance the troubled company might still be saved. Joly even planned to move Best Buy headquarters to Minnesota, ostensibly in search of a more reliable location than Minneapolis, its typical home. But the company instead closed some 50 small and mid-sized stores, while making other plans for its future, including converting hundreds of its larger stores into smaller versions of its stores. For a time, Joly even managed to mend relations with the company’s founder Richard Schulze. That deal fell apart in June 2015, however, and the electronics retailer has become a symbol of the troubles confronting American corporations. “The cycle is a giant u-turn right now,” says Brian Wieser, an analyst with Pivotal Research Group, who says he expects Joly to stay on the job until November, when the company’s current board is set to end its run.