Gary Arnold, Veteran Best Buy Retailer, Passes
March 27, 2017 at 11:37 AM (PT)
GARY ARNOLD, who was one of the most powerful -- and beloved -- executives in the music business during an 18-year run at MINNEAPOLIS-based BEST BUY, which saw him rise from Merchandise Manager Music upon his hiring in 1994 to SVP Entertainment Marketing, has passed away after a long battle with cancer.
After leaving BEST BUY in 2012, GARY started his own consulting firm providing services to technology and entertainment clients.
A well-known figure in music business circles, ARNOLD was a member of the Boards of the GRAMMY FOUNDATION and the TONY HAWK FOUNDATION, and in 1999, was named the first retailer to serve on the ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME INDUCTION COMMITTEE.
At BEST BUY, ARNOLD was known for launching an exclusive policy at the retailer, including GUNS N' ROSES' long-awaited 2008 release, "CHINESE Democracy," paying a reportedly huge sum for the opportunity. In 1995, he kick-started the process by famously offering an exclusive interview disc to every buyer of THE BEATLES Anthology
While at BEST BUY, ARNOLD also started an in-house record label.
"He was a force in the industry and will be missed," wrote one-time TRANSWORLD ENTERTAINMENT executive VINNIE BIRBIGLIA on GARY's FACEBOOK page.
ARNOLD is sruvived by his wife CAROL BOOTHBY ARNOLD, daughter AMY, sons JOSH and NICK, and granddaugher AVA. At the time of his death, GARY and CAROL lived in SAN DIEGO.
Wrote CAROL on FACEBOOK this morning: "My dear, beloved husband GARY ARNOLD passed away at 3a this morning after a heroic battle with cancer. All five of his children made it to our house in time to be with him, and we surrounded him with love as he made his transition. There are no words to say how much we will miss him. He was a towering figure in our lives in more ways than one. We ask all of you who are the praying kind to say a prayer for the big man. He was one of a kind."