A Creative Voice in the C-Suite: Best Buy Appoints ‘Chief Design Officer’

C_pencils.jpgIn what we hope is a nascent trend, Best Buy has announced that it will add a chief design officer to its executive ranks. The multinational retailer of technology and entertainment products and services, which in its most recent fiscal year generated a whopping $49.7 billion in revenue, has appointed Aura Oslapas to the new position. She begins work for the Minneapolis-based company on September 15. As senior vice president and chief design officer, Oslapas will lead Best Buy’s design and brand identity team worldwide. “Aura is a highly creative design leader,” said Barry Judge, the company’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer, in a statement announcing the appointment. “She is able to bring forth progressive, customer-centered programs that define product and service offerings while being grounded in research and solid creative.” Oslapas, the principal of San Francisco-based A+O Design Methods, has held leadership positions at organizations such as Esprit de Corp and IDEO, and her work with clients including Hewlett-Packard, Target, Apple, and McDonald’s has earned shelves of awards. The founding chair of the industrial design program at California College of Arts, she holds degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Art (BFA, industrial design) and Cranbook Academy of Art (MFA).