Al-Futtaim adds Best Buy executive at board level
by Stuart Wilson, Monday 17 August 2009
UAE business group Al-Futtaim has named Bob Willett as a non-executive board director. Willett’s current role is CEO of Best Buy International, the US-based multinational retailer of technology and consumer electronics products. Al-Futtaim’s business includes UAE technology and consumer electronics retailer Plug-Ins.
Omar A. Al-Futtaim, vice chairman and CEO at Al-Futtaim, said: “I look forward to welcoming Bob to the Board. I am confident he will bring considerable strategic experience to the Group and enable us to become truly customer centric throughout our portfolio of companies.”
Willett’s current management remit within Best Buy includes stores in China, Mexico, Canada, Turkey and nine countries in Europe. He is also responsible for enterprise global sourcing, supply chain, corporate development and information technology. Willett is also chairman of Best Buy Europe, a joint venture company with Carphone Warehouse.
CE ANALYSIS: Has Best Buy got an appetite for Middle East expansion? In light of its European tie-up with Carphone Warehouse, Willett’s appointment to the Al-Futtaim board is interesting to say the least. While Plug-Ins has carved out a strong reputation within the UAE, it has no real reach elsewhere in the region. It makes you wonder whether this appointment could represent the first tentative step towards a joint venture in the Middle East between Best Buy and Al-Futtaim.