There’s a changing of the guard in car audio buyers and managers at Best Buy effective today. Long time leaders at Best Buy will move out of the mobile electronics department, and a new group will replace them, some with appliance and computer backgrounds. Some will also have e-commerce experience, as e-commerce is a new focus of the department.
Former head of the car audio department, Roddy Hjort, has been moved to the Small Appliance team at Best Buy and Randall Schwartz, a Senior Merchant in car audio for more than six years is no longer part of the car audio team, according to memos sent to industry members.
Best Buy also changed work assignments within its car audio department to reflect the new focus on online sales and to allow more freedom to the managers. As we reported earlier, Best Buy’s online sales now account for over 40 percent of company sales, up from 19 percent last year. And that trend is expected to continue beyond the pandemic.
Kiersten Savoie has been named the new Category Lead who will interface with many of the vendors. She is new to car audio and she comes from the Major Appliances section at Best Buy. Savoie was in the Computer department prior to that.
Cory Ehlers will serve as the car audio Category Portfolio Lead. He has been a director of e-commerce at Best Buy for almost 7 years.
Chris Ekdahl will be the Senior e-Commerce Analyst. He had been a buyer in car audio for almost two years.
Mindy Luecke will be the Merchant Analyst for car audio and Dan Groppoli will be the DP analyst.
Best Buy did not respond to our request for a comment on the changes.
Addition: We should add that many mass merchants switch around buyers between departments to prevent them from developing cozy relationships with suppliers that might influence their buying decisions.