A CEO Video Q&A with Corie Barry, CEO, Best Buy Co., Inc.
What does the Business Roundtable Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation mean to you?
It was a groundbreaking moment when dozens of CEOs signed a document saying out loud what so many of us have only privately thought — a company exists to serve more than only a financial interest, and the work we all do has at least equal value in society as with the shareholder. I was proud to have been a signatory because the Statement reflects the long-held values of the company that I am honored to lead.
What is one of the most important decisions you have made for your company this year?
At the outset of the COVID-19 crisis, we laid out three key principles that would guide all of our decision-making. First among them was the commitment we made to our employees and our customers — that every decision would be made with the goal of keeping them as safe as possible. Our second goal was to protect the employee experience as much as possible. And our third was to emerge from this crisis, not just a vital company, but a vibrant one.
Each time we faced a crossroads, these balanced principles pointed us in the right direction. It wasn’t always easy, and there were times when short-term financial benefit was weighed against longer-term sustainable value creation. But we knew that to be a company people loved, respected and remained loyal to in the long-term, we had to act in a way that was worthy of their affection.
How would you describe your purpose as a leader?
My personal purpose is one of stewardship — to leave the world around me a little bit better than when I found it. I used to ask myself every day as I drove home from work whether I had achieved my purpose on that given day. While the commute is largely different, my commitment to that goal remains as strong as ever. My greatest privilege is to work for a company where my purpose aligns with the broader purpose of the organization; that allows me to find fulfillment nearly every day in the work that we collectively do together.