Best Buys top Geek has left the Squad.
Robert Stephens, whose computer-repair business blossomed into Best Buys Geek Squad, has resigned from the consumer electronics giant.
CEO Brian Dunn said Stephens, the companys chief technology officer, is moving to California to pursue other projects.
Robert is also a born entrepreneur, and, frankly, I knew it was only a matter of time before his curiosity and his desire to create something new would lead him to look outside the walls of Best Buy, Dunn wrote in an email. And that time has come.
Geek Squad helped catapult Best Buy back into innovation and growth. The retailer used to offer customers tech support using store employees, known as Blue Shirts, but it had little success. All that changed in 2002 when Best Buy purchased the little-known computer repair firm founded by Stephens in 1994. Writing in his blog, Stephens said he wanted to return to his entrepreneurial roots and start new companies.
I never thought I would or could last this long at Best Buy, Stephens wrote. Hell, nobody did. Now I want to take what Ive learned founding a start-up and combine it with the experience I gained working at a Fortune 50 company.
Retail observers say Stephens departure deals a big blow to Best Buy. Not only does Geek Squad generate the lions share of Best Buys profits at a time when its core stores are struggling, Stephens gave Best Buy credibility in the eyes of the tech community, said Flora Delaney, a retail consultant and past Best Buy executive.