The new Office Depot hunts for an e-commerce chief

December 18, 2013 11:23 AM

Office Depot Inc.’s new CEO Roland Smith has only been on the job about a month, but he’s wasting no time in getting down to business. Office Depot, which recently merged with rival chain OfficeMax, announced a number of changes to its executive ranks today.

Among those, the company is looking to name an executive vice president of e-commerce. This person will head up all North American e-commerce sites, including those geared for business clients and consumers, and “set strategic direction to grow profitable sales while developing an omnichannel shopping experience aimed at increasing share of wallet,” the merchant says.

Mike Kirschner, who was senior vice president at Office Depot before the merger, is in the running for the role. Meanwhile, he will serve as interim head of e-commerce.

"Since I joined the Company last month, my priorities have been to name a headquarters location and select a leadership team that incorporates the best talent from both companies and also adds fresh perspective from the outside," Smith says. "The Company's new organizational structure focuses on accountability and streamlined decision making. I believe this approach provides the best foundation to execute the merger synergies and transformation strategy for long-term growth."

Office Depot, which announced last week it will be headquartered in Boca Raton, FL, where Office Depot had been based, also began an external search for a president of its North American business. The new president will manage retail, sales, e-commerce, marketing and supply chain. Steve Schmidt is the new president of the retailer’s international business and will be relocating to Europe. Schmidt served the same role at Office Depot prior to the merger.

Other appointments include Tim Rea, the new executive vice president of marketing, who previously served as senior vice president of brand strategy at Office Depot. Todd Hale is now senior vice president and global chief information officer, and he will oversee I.T. projects. He was North American CIO prior to the merger.

Office Depot also wants to name a chief strategy and innovation officer, a new position, who will lead efforts to develop new business initiatives. The retailer did not elaborate on the specifics of those initiatives.

Roland Smith joined Office Depot as Chairman and CEO last month following its merger with OfficeMax. The CEOs of the previous two companies, Neil Austrian of Office Depot and Ravi Saligram of OfficeMax, resigned at that time.

The new company had combined 2012 web sales of $7.26 billion, Internet Retailer estimates in its Top 500 Guide. By comparison, the merged company’s main rival, Staples Inc., No. 2 in that guide after Inc., generated 2012 web sales of $10.3 billion. 

The combined company will have had total revenue of $17 billion for the year ended Sept. 30, Office Depot says. Office Depot holds the No. 7 spot in the Top 500, while OfficeMax ranks at No. 11.




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