Minnesota United FC has announced that Shari Ballard will become the club’s new Chief Executive Officer at the end of the current season. A long-time resident and respected leader in the Twin-Cities community, the former Best Buy executive brings more than 25 years of experience across all aspects of building an outward-facing business into one of the nation’s largest and most successful companies.
Commenting about the appointment, MNUFC managing partner Bill McGuire said: “Shari is an extraordinary individual whose personal character, commitment to people and our community, passion for sports, and exceptional experience leading and working with others to grow and strengthen a locally-based, international company and brand is without reproach. Her accomplishments speak for themselves, and I am humbled and proud that the MNUFC family – still young but having already accomplished much, and with so many engaged and passionate individuals, outstanding corporate and community partners, the greatest fans in MLS today, and values that emanate from the great sport of soccer and its global lessons – is something that attracted her to help us realize even greater things and relevance in the future.”
Shari worked in Best Buy her entire professional career and retired in 2019 after holding the position of President of Multichannel Retail for Best Buy Co. Inc., responsible for all U.S. Best Buy stores, e-commerce, Best Buy Mexico and the company’s real estate strategy. She first joined the company in 1993 to work in a local Best Buy store after graduating with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, Flint. Later promoted to Executive Vice President of Human Resources and Legal, in 2007 she assumed responsibility for Best Buy stores in the United States. That role focused her energies on deepening customer relationships and better utilizing the full range of talent and resources within the company’s stores to drive growth. She became President of Americas, U.S. and Mexico in 2010, and two years later was appointed President of International, overseeing business and the transformation efforts in Canada, China, Europe and Mexico. Shari assumed the role of President of U.S. retail in 2017, and then subsequently added the roles of Chief Human Resources Officer and responsibility for e-commerce.
Ms. Ballard currently serves on the board of directors for Ecolab Inc., the global leader in water, hygiene and energy technologies and services; PetSmart, the leading specialty pet retailer; and Allina Health. She is a member of the board of trustees for the University of Minnesota Foundation. Shari was named one of Fortune Magazine’s “Fifty Most Powerful Women in Business” in 2011, 2015, 2016 and 2017.
“If you had told the 10-year-old version of me that I’d be asked to join a professional sports team and help them continue to build a winning organization, I would have been elated. It’s no different today. I can’t wait to get started,” Shari commented. “I am very appreciative of everything that has been done to develop Minnesota United as a competitive team playing the world’s most popular sport here in our home state, but also as an important and valued asset for our community and its people. This is a truly inspiring organization – and one with a community-wide sense of pride and enthusiasm surrounding it. I’m honored to join a team that is explicit in its core values, and one that strives to provide something about which everyone can continue to be proud. It is a privilege to work at ensuring that we are a competitive and exciting team, that we continue to provide an exceptional experience for fans and all of those associated with MNUFC, and that we foster and build on our relationship with the fans and our vibrant, growing and diverse community.”