Office Depot restructures its leadership

August 23, 2016 04:05 PM

Office supplies retail chain Office Depot Inc. is restructuring its leadership team as it looks to adapt to a changing retail environment by putting a three-year strategic plan into place.

CEO Roland Smith is retiring as soon as the company finds a replacement for him, which is expected to occur in the first quarter of 2017, the retailer announced on Monday. Retail veteran Troy Rice has been promoted from executive vice president of retail to the newly created position of chief operating officer, North America, where he’ll oversee e-commerce and other facets of the business.

The strategic plan has four main elements:  accelerating opportunities in the contract channel, optimizing and reinventing the North American retail model, implementing multiyear cost reductions and returning capital to shareholders, Office Depot says. Part of that plan includes consolidating Office Depot’s retail, contract, e-commerce and marketing operations “to better serve our customers in today’s omnichannel marketplace.” Rice will oversee those initiatives.

Rice joined Office Depot, No. 9 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500 Guide, in April 2014 as executive vice president of retail. He had previously held executive-level positions with Toys R Us Inc. (No. 35) and The Home Depot Inc. (No. 7).

“Troy’s ability to lead our organization through the integration of the Office Depot and OfficeMax stores and significantly improve retail profitability positions him perfectly to align our retail, contract and e-commerce functions for optimal customer service and efficiency,” Smith said.

Smith’s plan to retire comes three months after Office Depot and Staples Inc. dropped their plan to merge in a $6.3 billion deal that faced antitrust challenges from federal regulators. In mid-June, Staples CEO Ron Sargent stepped down.

“My decision to retire has not been an easy one,” said Office Depot’s Smith, who is expected to remain chairman of the board. “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.”




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