Agents Respond to Founder Robert Stephens’ Departure

by Geek Squad Agent on ‎03-08-2012 03:20 PM (927 Views)

To some, this may come as a huge shock. Robert has been synonymous with the Geek Squad. He’s our high-profile founder and “Chief Inspector” – a man known for his incredible charisma and drive. And anyone who has heard him speak has experienced the “Reality Distortion Field” that follows – his words draw you in, reshape reality around you, and make you see the impossible as… well, frankly… possible.

 

That’s Robert’s gift. He dreams – and then makes those dreams happen. Which is why the announcement didn’t catch me as much by surprise as others.

 

Why?

 

Simple: At heart, Robert is an entrepreneur. He loves to create things. Taking a dream, crafting it with precision, winding it up and showing it to the world is Robert’s forte. He’s a visionary with aspirations as wide as the tech industry, and as such, he simply could not be contained to one section of it for long.

 

I’ve known Robert for over 10 years. When I started with Geek Squad, it had 20-25 employees, and was run out of a converted hardware store in the warehouse district of Minneapolis. Now, it spans the globe, with tens of thousands of “Agents” (Geek Squad employees), and is synonymous with the words “service” and “tech support.”

 

Back in the old days, we toyed with dreams of greatness. Robert even coined “Worldwide Domination of the Computer Support Industry” as our catchphrase. Sure, we joked about it then – we saw the potential of Geek Squad to grow, but never imagined the heights to which it would climb in the years that followed. But you know what? Robert did – and that is what sets him apart.

 

Bill Gates once said that the key to success is being in the right place at the right time, recognizing you are there, and then taking massive and immediate action. It’s a common trait in the world of the movers and the shakers – those who leave a lasting impact on the world. And that’s Robert, to a T. He stepped into the tech support world back when it consisted mostly of mom and pop shops, and brought common sense, old-fashioned customer service into the 20th (and 21st) century – and all dressed up in a snappy black (clip-on) tie, white short-sleeved shirt, and black pants. (Oh, and don’t forget the white socks.)

 

Robert has left a lasting legacy at Best Buy, and it is with deep sadness that we see him move on. Yet we know that his boundless passion, entrepreneurial spirit, and incredible drive will leave a bigger impact as he moves into the larger technology world.

 

But the spirit of Geek Squad lives on, and continues to grow, in the hearts of its Agents. And while Robert may have built the brand and created the environment in which it could grow, the true culture of Geek Squad has come from its Agents. So it is only fitting that we give them a forum to express their thoughts on Robert’s departure:

 

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  • Thank you for creating something that is more family than company, and more passion than job.
  •  I have never felt more ‘at home’ than I do in Geek Squad.
  • It was more than just a job, it was a lifestyle.
  • While you will be missed, you will never be forgotten. Geek Squad will continue to grow in your vision and what you did for Geek Squad will be a part of it’s DNA forever.
  • To many of us, this is more than just a job — it’s a family. Thank You for giving all of us the opportunity to participate in something that is larger than ourselves.
  • I wholly believe that without you, Geeks would never have become the cool, chic culture that it is.
  • You’ve changed how the world views geeks… and I don’t think anyone else could have accomplished what you’ve done.
  • What started as a job, quickly turned into an adventure – one which I will be forever in your debt for sending me. 
  • In my own little way here in a town in the north-east of England i’ll make sure to represent Geek Squad and the values it upholds.
  • I’m really speechless right now. We have all benefitted from you more than any of realize. We will continue to make you proud of what you started.
  • You made it cool to be a geek, you made providing great customer service incredibly fun, you helped bring technology into the mainstream, and most importantly you created one of the largest (and most awesome) families on the face of the planet. 
  • From a wondrous 13 year old dreaming about working in the Squad to a still wondrous 19 year old rising through the Agent ranks, thank you for creating the opportunities for not only myself but countless others to explore their curiosity and love for technology in an amazing environment.
  • I was just looking for a job to get me through college, but instead I found a place where I could be myself, a job where I could satisfy my desire to learn & tinker with technology, and a group of people who are now considered family rather than co-workers (and an ever expanding/growing family at that!)… all because of what you have created, nurtured, and developed. I can’t express my gratitude enough.
  • You’ve made me being an agent mean something…
  • I am so proud to be a part of the family that you’ve brought to us, and the culture that is so special and really, so GENIUS. Thank you for bringing your brilliance to us all.
  • Thank you, Robert, for creating such an environment of culture with Geek Squad. It’s empowering. It’s inspiring. It’s humbling.

 

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These are just a small portion of the outpouring of thoughts and feelings coming in today as the message spreads. There are more… and will be even more as the days go by.

 

Geek Squad will always remember our founder (and Chief Inspector Emeritus) with fondness and respect, and continue to blaze the trail that he started us on 18 years ago. And so (on a personal note), I will add my own thoughts in closing:

 

“Robert: you’ve brought out the best in us. You’ve taken the term “geek” and turned it into a badge of honor. You gave us something to believe in, and fostered our growth. From a small group of crazy guys and gals fixing computers (and having fun at it!) you created a worldwide juggernaut of technical service – all with trademarked Geek Squad humor, pride and style.

 

You’ve made us believe in something: the power of an individual to change the world; that greatness lies within us all, and we need only be fearless enough to dream, reach out, and work tirelessly to make it a reality.

 

You’ve walked the path that giants walked. Your legacy will endure. And we look forward with great anticipation to the new ways you will shake the pillars of the industry, as we continue to uphold your dream, and carry on the Geek Squad mission of “Serving the Public, Policing Technology, and Protecting the World.”

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