Best Buy Global CMO Exits

Barry Judge Had Been With Retailer More Than 12 Years

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Barry Judge, Best Buy's global chief marketing officer, has stepped down.

Barry Judge
Barry Judge
An executive close to Best Buy confirmed the departure. Mr. Judge's former Twitter handle @BestBuyCMO is now blank, and he is tweeting from @barryjudge. The retailer did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Citing sources, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported that Best Buy is remaking its senior leadership team. Stephen Gillett, a former Starbucks exec, is said to be replacing Mr. Judge. He was recently brought onboard to oversee the retailer's digital efforts. It appears that Drew Panayioutou, who has been head of U.S. marketing since 2009, will remain.

At the ANA Masters of Marketing conference in October, Mr. Judge seemed to foreshadow his departure. While participating in a panel, he was asked what TV would look like in five years. He answered that he wouldn't be there in five years. When prodded, he responded that it was time to do "something different." Later, when asked privately by Ad Age about the comment, he said he had been joking and had no plans to leave.

Mr. Judge presided over the retailer's first Super Bowl ads and its embrace of social media. He had been with Best Buy since 1999 and took on the CMO role in 2008.

Just last month, Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn stepped down amid allegations that he used company resources to conduct an affair with an employee. The company revealed the allegations hours after announcing that Mr. Dunn, whose career spanned 28 years there, would resign.

The company is the 56th-largest advertiser, with $666.5 million in U.S. ad spending, including measured and unmeasured media, according to the Ad Age DataCenter. It works with CP&B,Razorfish, Starcom and CHI/Wunderman.

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