Thanks to the help of some Giz-reading Best Buy employees, we've filled out the story on the reorganization (not layoffs) a bit.
Essentially, the reorg has been in the works for awhile, even before the economic crash, so it's not entirely motivated by a need to trim the fat. It mostly consists of title and seniority changes. One anonymous Best Buy employee lays it out for us:
- Computers, Digital Imaging, and Car Audio departments are being combined under one supervisor, while Home Theater and Appliances are combined under another. This means there will now be 2 floor supervisors, instead of a supervisor for each department. Geek Squad will keep its Deputy of Counter Intelligence role, which is the supervisor position for Geek Squad.
- The role of 'Senior' is being eliminated, thought it is important to note these employees are not being laid off, but will simply become associates in those departments, or have the possibility to move to one of the supervisor roles.
- Salaried manager positions are General Manager, Product Process Manager, and Operations Manager, and the roles are staying the same. Store Services Manager and Customer Experience Manager positions are being changed to Customer Solutions Manager.
- Geek Squad Double Agents and Home Theater Installers are all being moved into USO markets, that is already the system in place for major metropolitan areas. This USO basically means Agents no longer report directly to a local store and Services Manager, but rather cover a larger service area, report to a Deputy Field Marshall, and typically keep Geek Squad Bug (Geekmobile) at their personal residences.
- There are some small changes for who reports to who, such as Sales Operators (store phone operator, handling questions and over the phone sales), car audio Geek Squad Installers, and Best Buy Mobile associates will report directly to one of the 2 Customer Solutions Managers.
So it looks like there are going to be very few employees laid off, only the few managers whose jobs have been made redundant by the combining of duties. Our sources tell us this reorg has been in the works for at least a year, and that it's designed to streamline chain of command and make the ship run smoother. Thanks to our tipsters for their help.