Ex-Best Buy CEO Brad Anderson quits Mayo Clinic, MPR boards amid donation controversy

Brad Anderson says he wasn't aware how his money was being used.
Publish date:

Brad Anderson, the former CEO of Best Buy, is stepping down as a board member of multiple Minnesota companies.

In the past few days, it's been reported that he's resigned as a board member of the Mayo Clinic, Minnesota Public Radio, and Carlson.

In a filings Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), both General Mills and Waste Management Inc., confirmed Anderson had also resigned from their boards.

Anderson has been under pressure since this piece from the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets blog was published last week.

It revealed that $25,000 in contributions from Anderson to a group called Secrue America Now had been used to produce several anti-Muslim videos that were used in far-right social media campaigns.

The OpenSecrets blog notes that Secure America Now (SAN) used Google and Facebook to target voters in swing states who were most receptive to their message prior to the 2016 elections.

Also listed as a $25,000 donor to the group was an investment company headed up by Best Buy founder Richard Schulze.


– The feud between MPR, Garrison Keillor is intensifying

– Sign up for our daily newsletters

Both Anderson and Schulze told the Star Tribune that they had no idea that their money was being used to fund extremist content, and said they would no longer contribute to the organization.

Speaking with MPR News, Anderson said he only contributed to SAN after meeting with its president, where they discussed the future security of Israel, and wasn't aware of the anti-Islamic campaigns it ran until this past Thursday.

Among the Secure America Now group's biggest contributors was Robert Mercer, the billionaire investor and major conservative donor who once had a stake in Breitbart News.

In a statement to MPR News, MPR board chairman David Murphy said he was "saddened" Anderson was stepping down, noting that the organization hadn't asked for his resignation.

Next Up

CBP heater

More than $260K in fake heaters seized at Minnesota border

The 780 infrared zone heaters were found in a rail car bound for Ranier, Minnesota.

Ian Cole

Wild trade Greg Pateryn to Avalanche for Ian Cole

Cole won a pair of Stanley Cups in Pittsburgh and is a former first-round pick.


St. Croix County GOP chair resigns after incendiary post on official website

John Kraft sparked controversy with his 'Prepare for War' post on the party website earlier this month.

ann kim

Ann Kim's new restaurant, Sooki & Mimi, to open in February

The James Beard Award winner is the brains behind Young Joni, Pizzeria Lola, and Hello Pizza.

Screen Shot 2021-01-19 at 1.32.19 PM

Firefighters rescue worker after trench fall in Rochester

The construction worker fell about 15 feet.

gray wolf

Grand Marais mayor's dog survives attack by wolves

He heard his 65-pound dog "screaming bloody murder" and then saw the wolves chasing her.

Screen Shot 2021-01-19 at 12.04.55 PM

Minnesota's COVID vaccine appointment site goes live

Huge demand was expected when the site went live at noon.

emily ford

Duluth woman is hiking 1,000-plus miles on the Ice Age Trail this winter

She could be the second person ever to finish a winter-thru hike of the Wisconsin trail.

coronavirus, covid-19, icu

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, January 19

Two days in a row with fewer than 1,000 new cases.


Businessman gives Mayo Clinic a record $200 million to train doctors

The endowment has been given by turnaround specialist Jay Alix.

CEO Brian Dunn resigns from Best Buy

Dunn is stepping down after being with the Richfield-based electronics retailer for nearly 30 years. Best Buy recently announced it was closing 50 stores and terminating 400 corporate jobs. Board member Mike Mikan will serve as interim CEO during the search for a permanent replacement.


Best Buy CEO under investigation for alleged inappropriate relationship

The allegation was revealed by the Wall Street Journal on Friday.

State accuses trucking firm of 'wage theft' after suddenly laying off 95 workers

The shut-down of a freight company in Roseville has turned ugly, with the state of Minnesota accusing it continuing to operate under a different name, but without unionized workers.

Best Buy CEO resigned amid misconduct investigation

A spokeswoman for Best Buy says a committee was investigating Brian Dunn's personal conduct when the CEO chose to resign. She says the issues that led to the investigation were not related to Best Buy's operations or finances. The company described Dunn's departure as a "mutual agreement that it was time for new leadership."

Report: President Trump will meet with CEOs of Target and Best Buy

The CEOs are reportedly concerned about the impact of a border tax being considered by Republicans.