Best Buy founder and chairman vacates board earlier than planned

Minneapolis -- Best Buy Co. said Thursday that its founder and chairman Richard Schulze is resigning from his position on the board, one he has held for more than 40 years.

He said he will explore options for his 20.1% stake in the electronics retailer. "There is an urgent need for Best Buy to reinvigorate growth by reconnecting with today’s customers and building pathways to the next generation of consumers," Schulze said in a statement. "Accordingly, I have shared my views with the board and today informed them of my decision to resign as chairman and a director, effective immediately, in order to explore all available options for my ownership stake.”

Schulze, 71, previously planned to step down after the company’s 2012 annual meeting on June 21 and to remain a director through the 2013 annual meeting.