Best Buy’s giving its new CEO $32M — more than twice what it made last quarter

Curious what would make the head of a hospitality conglomerate jump ship to a sinking electronics retailer? How does $32 million sound?

That’s the potential value of the three-year offer Best Buy made to Hubert Joly, who the company announced as its new chief executive on Monday.

To put the salary number in context, $32 million is more than two times what Best Buy earned last quarter, as The Wall Street Journal points out.

Also a part of the deal is a $6.25 million payout in the event that the Frenchman can’t get his visa by the end of September.

Best Buy defends the offer on two fronts: For one, company says that part of the cash is compensation for Joly’s move from his well-paying CEO spot at Carlson Corporation. And two, it’s not an unreasonable sum for a CEO at a mid-sized company like Best Buy.

That may be true, but its hard not to overlook the insanity in paying a CEO twice your quarterly earnings, especially if that CEO has no retail experience and your company is tanking. Perhaps it’s not the biggest surprise why Best Buy is bleeding so much cash as of late.

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