Office Depot Names Gerry Smith CEO

Updated: Gerry Smith has been named Office Depot CEO and, according to a filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, he will receive an annual base salary of $1.1 million subject to annual review by the board of directors for possible increase, but not decrease.

In addition, for each completed fiscal year during his employment term, Smith will be eligible to receive an annual target bonus of 150% of his salary, based on performance goals. If Smith achieves superior performance based on goals established, according to the filing, then he will be eligible to receive a bonus award up to 200% of his salary. In taking on his new role, Office Depot added, Smith will forfeit a bonus with a prior employer and so Office Depot will pay him $1.2 million in cash.

In the week before Office Depot announced the Smith hiring, local news outlets in the vicinity of the company’s Boca Raton base reported that headquarters layoffs had occurred. A call to Office Depot about the layoffs was not immediately returned.

Earlier story: Office Depot’s board of directors has appointed Gerry Smith CEO, effective February 27.

He will succeed Roland Smith, who previously announced his intention to retire from the company.

Smith is currently evp and COO at Lenovo Group, a global technology company. In conjunction with his appointment as CEO, Smith will join the Office Depot board as a director.

“On behalf of the board, I’m pleased that we recruited a leader with Gerry’s broad skill set to lead Office Depot at this important time in the company’s history,” said Warren Bryant, Office Depot lead director of the board and chair of the CEO search committee. “Gerry possesses significant operating expertise, having successfully led business units across Lenovo’s entire product portfolio, including an industry recognized supply chain organization. His long-standing relationships with some of Office Depot’s largest suppliers will enable him to quickly transition into the role. Additionally, we are impressed with Gerry’s demonstrated ability to lead large, complex organizations.”

In connection with the executive transition, the board has diversified the overall corporate governance structure with the selection of an independent non-executive board chairman. Current board member Joseph Vassalluzzo will become chairman, also effective February 27. Vassalluzzo joined the Office Depot board in 2013 and currently serves as chair of the finance and integration committee. He also serves as non-executive chairman of Federal Realty Investment Trust and previously served as lead director for Lifetime Fitness. Earlier, he was vice chairman of Staples.