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Who’s Behind Best Buy’s Retail Resurrection?

The tech world can move fast, with new devices and updates seemingly dropping every few months. To keep up with these changes, retailers need to stay flexible and adaptable to remain current with consumers.

Few retailers might know this better than Best Buy, which Fortune explained is in the middle of a stunning turnaround that has virtually reversed the company’s downward spiral over the past several years. Far from the traditional corporate success story, Hubert Joly, CEO of Best Buy, told Fortune that the driving force behind Best Buy’s reinvention has largely been due to a few key female executives, such as chief financial officer Sharon McCollam.

In 2012, when Best Buy was embroiled in scandals and bad press from events surrounding its former CEO, it was McCollam who spearheaded massive cuts to Best Buy’s corporate spending habits, including the elimination of private jets at headquarters, the termination of costly and ineffective sponsorships with NASCAR and the NFL, and a detail-oriented approach to store operations. Corie Barry, chief strategic growth officer, told Fortune that McCollam’s personal philosophy could be easily summarized as “‘I don’t need you to go find the million-dollar idea — I’d love for you to go find the $10,000 idea.'”

Joly originally coaxed McCollam out of retirement after she had spent years with Williams-Sonoma, and as a clear indication of her star power among retail insiders, her initial retirement announcement caused the company’s stock to fall by 6 percent. Now, McCollam is behind some of Best Buy’s boldest decisions as of late, including the choice to match Amazon and other competitors’ prices.

“This was a hard thing to do, because you have no idea what the financial implication of that is,” McCollam told Fortune. “And you know you can never go back.”

And with McCollam seated behind Best Buy’s wheel, the retailer is fully focused on forward momentum.

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