Corie Barry, the CEO of big-box electronics and technology retailer Best Buy, was accused by a whistleblower of having an inappropriate affair with another executive.
Barry has had a meteoric rise throughout her career. She started out as an auditor with the Big Four accounting firm Deloitte & Touche before joining Best Buy. Over the next 20 years, Barry held about 15 positions—successfully rising to the president of the Geek Squad Services division (the group that troubleshoots and fixes computer and related issues), chief financial officer and then CEO.
Barry is one of only a handful of women who lead Fortune 500 companies. She is married and has two children. At just 44-years old, she is one of the youngest CEOs of an S&P 500 company.
Barry once said in a CNBC interview, “My career path is anything but linear. I spent time in finance. I spent time actually living and working in the field in retail. I spent time running services. I started our strategic growth office. I’ve had the chance to run our technology teams.”
The allegation was made in an anonymous letter, which was sent to the board of directors. It alleged that Barry maintained a long-term romantic relationship with her former boss, Best Buy senior vice president Karl Sanft, before she became CEO. The company replied to the allegation by saying, “Best Buy takes allegations of misconduct very seriously.” An outside law firm was retained to conduct an independent review of the matter. Sanft left Best Buy in early 2019 and is now the chief operating officer of 24 Hour Fitness Worldwide. The pair had worked together for about 20 years.
“The board has my full cooperation and support as it undertakes this review, and I look forward to its resolution in the near term,” Barry said in a written statement.