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Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn Gets $6.6M Severance Package After Scandal

By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on May 24, 2012 7:01 AM

Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn may have stepped down in early April, but we're only now learning about the intimate details of his relationship with a 29-year-old employee. And the amount of his severance package, of course.

Despite engaging in a relationship that "negatively impacted the work environment," Dunn will receive approximately $6.6 million. That's a lot when compared to disgraced Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson. He never opened the company up to a sexual harassment lawsuit, yet he got nothing.

This disparity seems to be a bit of a corporate trend. As Best Buy CEO, Brian Dunn should have known better than to court a female employee. Even though the pair insists there was no romantic involvement, Forbes reports that Dunn took the woman for lunch, drinks and gave her tickets to entertainment events. They were in constant contact and even seen together at work.

Having "an extremely close personal relationship with a female employee" violated company policy, according to an in house investigation. Though the company had cause to fire him, Dunn was still paid $6.6 million.

Ex-HP CEO Mark Hurd, similarly involved with a female employee, received a $40 million severance package. He was actually accused of sexual harassment.

There's little doubt that Yahoo's Scott Thompson could have also been fired for cause. But what makes resume padding worse than a possible case of sexual harassment? All three former CEOs were a liability. All three were publicly scandalized. All three contracts were likely very similar. So why weren't all three treated the same?

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