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Geek Squad founder leaving CTO post at Best Buy to 'build new companies'

Robert Stephens says the world is about to see huge changes because of mobile computing and wireless sensors, and "I cannot wait to play in this area." Stephens says he'll still serve as an outside advisor to the retail giant.
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Robert Stephens says the world is about to see huge changes because of mobile computing and wireless sensors, and "I cannot wait to play in this area." Stephens says he'll still serve as an outside advisor to the retail giant.

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Best Buy lays off 650 Geek Squad employees nationwide

Best Buy will lay off 650 employees nationwide in its Geek Squad division, KARE 11 says. Company officials said that the Geek Squad positions that service appliance, TVs and computers in customers' homes will be eliminated.

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Verizon Communications Inc. will start offering new services from Best Buy's Geek Squad. The new IT Help Desk is designed for small and mid-size business customers. The announcement comes after the Richfield-based electronics giant said it would lay off 650 Geek Squad workers, but hire 500 more specialized agents by the end of the year.

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A week after Best Buy announced it would be cutting 650 Geek Squad jobs in August, the Richfield-based company said Friday it will hire 500 new Geek Squad agents by the end of the year. Best Buy said the new hires will require broader skill sets, concentrate on small businesses and the company's next generation Connected Stores, and less on basic home installations.

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Even though Richard Schulze is stepping down, he remains the retail giant's dominant shareholder controlling more than 20 percent of Best Buy stock, according to the Star Tribune. Schulze announced he's resigning as chairman and board director from the Minnesota-based company after an internal investigation found he didn't disclose former CEO Brian Dunn's inappropriate relationship with an employee.