Philippe Arrata

Vice-president, service operations and financial services, Best Buy Canada Age: 38

After several years working in management consulting at McKinsey and Company and Deloitte, Philippe Arrata now relishes the ability to work on different types of projects at Best Buy Canada.

“In consulting, you’re always advising on what a company should do to improve their operations,” he said. “The big change is now I actually get the opportunity to do it and implement those changes.”

Those projects include revamping Best Buy’s warranty program to include a wider suite of services, like initial computer setup and remote support available at the click of a mouse.

Arrata has also made big changes in how the company deals with merchandise that is returned to stores.

“It was kind of like that show Storage Wars,” he said. “We’d literally have these photos and it’d be a pallet of stuff: there’d be TVs on it and laptops and a fridge. Companies would come and they’d bid on this random stuff, and some of it might work and some of it wouldn’t.”

Now technicians at Best Buy’s headquarters in Langley test and repair the items. The electronics are then sold to Best Buy employees, friends and families through a private marketplace web site, directly to other businesses or to the general public through eBay. The stuff that can’t be repaired is sold for parts.

“It’s better for the environment, it’s better for us, it’s more profitable,” he said.

Arrata said Best Buy’s young, dynamic culture suits him well. So does the city of Vancouver, where Arrata and his family have settled after stints in Calgary and Singapore.

“Ultimately we got lucky, and ended up at Best Buy, and got to live in the city where we wanted to live,” he said. •