Office Depot Realigns Executives As Smith Retires

Office Depot said its CEO, Roland Smith, will retire from his post.

Smith will remain in his CEO position until the company names a successor, which should be at the end of the 2017 first quarter. He will remain chairman of the Office Depot board, the company added. With the assistance of an executive search firm, the board will vet internal and external candidates for the CEO position.

Office Depot also reorganized its executive committee, which it maintained would better align the organization with a three-year strategic plan. Under that plan, Office Depot is consolidating its retail, contract, e-commerce and marketing operations to better serve customers in the omnichannel marketplace.

To lead the effort, Office Depot has named Troy Rice to the newly created position of chief operating officer, North America. He was evp/retail. The company appointed Rob Koch to the newly created position of evp/business development, where he will identify and commercialize new business opportunities. He was svp/real estate and will continue to oversee the company’s real estate portfolio. Rice and Koch will report to Mark Cosby, president, North America, until Office Depot names a permanent CEO.

In addition, Office Depot promoted Steve Calkins, evp/contract, to evp/chief legal officer.

“Since joining Office Depot in November 2013, Roland has built and led a talented management team that has done an outstanding job of integrating Office Depot and OfficeMax, and delivered synergies and efficiencies that significantly exceeded expectations,” said Warren Bryant, Office Depot’s board lead director. “In addition, Roland and his team worked closely with the board to develop a clear and compelling three-year strategic plan that positions the company for profitable growth. Roland has led the company to a position of solid standing, and we appreciate his ongoing leadership and commitment to Office Depot as we identify and transition to our next CEO.”

“My decision to retire has not been an easy one. In 2013, I set aside a number of personal ambitions to accept a three-year contract with Office Depot, and it’s now time for me to refocus on those priorities,” said Smith. “I am extraordinarily proud of what the Office Depot team has accomplished these past three years, and I am confident that we will successfully execute our new strategy and grow shareholder value.”

The reorganization follows the recent failed merger with Staples. Former Staples CEO Ron Sargent also stepped down from his position after the company’s annual meeting.