Watch CBS News

Best Buy probing allegations of "misconduct" against CEO

Electronics retailer Best Buy has launched an investigation into the conduct of its CEO, Corie Barry, the company announced Friday. 

The investigation comes after the company said it received an anonymous letter alleging that Barry had a romantic relationship with a former Best Buy executive, Senior Vice President Karl Sanft, according to the Wall Street Journal

Best Buy has hired an outside law firm to help conduct the investigation, the company said, declining further comment on the letter or its allegations.

"Best Buy takes allegations of misconduct very seriously," the company said in a statement. "We encourage the letter's author to come forward and be part of that confidential process."

Barry didn't address the allegations in a statement on Friday, saying only that Best Buy's "board has my full cooperation and support as it undertakes this review."

"I look forward to its resolution in the near term," she said.

According to his LinkedIn page, Sanft left Best Buy in April to become the chief operating officer for 24 Hour Fitness. A spokesperson with 24 Hour Fitness could not be reached for comment.

Barry, a Minnesota mother of two, in June became the first female CEO at Best Buy and only the fifth chief in the company's history. She previously worked as Best Buy's chief financial officer, having started at the company in 1999 as a senior financial analyst. 

McDonald's fires CEO over relationship with employee 01:56

Barry took the helm at Best Buy amid a strategic overhaul at the company that includes a focus on e-commerce. Online sales account for about 22% of Best Buy's business. 

Many U.S. companies have adopted policies to address workplace romances, even before the #MeToo movement stirred a national conversation surrounding sexual misconduct. Fast-food chain McDonald's fired its CEO in November for violating company policy when it said he had a consensual relationship with an employee.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.