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BEST BUY EXEC IN SHOCK EXIT

BEST BUY&rsquo;S head of international markets Robert Willett has quit the US electricals retailer, raising a question mark over its long-awaited move into the UK market.<br /><br />Willett, 63, who has overseen Best Buy&rsquo;s expansion in Europe, China and Mexico, will leave the company by the end of the year and will not be replaced, the company announced last night.<br /><br />That left some analysts wondering whether Best Buy&rsquo;s problem-plagued entry into the UK was still on track.<br /><br />Best Buy, which has a joint venture with Carphone Warehouse selling mobile phones in the US and Europe, has been planning to open in the UK since May 2008 but was forced to postpone until 2010 due to the economic meltdown.<br /><br />The company has begun recruiting up to 8,000 sales people to wear its distinctive blue shirts.<br /><br />Anthony Chukumba, an analyst at FTN Equity Capital Markets wondered if Willett&rsquo;s retirement would alter the current timetable.<br /><br />He said: &ldquo;Bob was sort of spearheading that effort.&rdquo;<br /><br />Chukumba said it would be wiser to use the opportunity of Willet&rsquo;s departure to focus on gaining more market share in the US rather than opening &ldquo;a bunch of stores in the UK that may or may not work&rdquo;.<br /><br />However, Best Buy last night insisted it remained committed to its European expansion plans.