Office Depot has appointed Gerry P. Smith as CEO. Smith will succeed current CEO Roland Smith (no relation), who announced his retirement in August 2016. In his new role, Smith will focus on delivering exceptional customer experiences and driving innovation and growth in products and services.
It’s been a bumpy ride for the office supply retailer, as Office Depot has been struggling to stay afloat amidst lackluster sales, store closing plans and a failed merger with rival Staples. The retailer plans to conduct a large executive reorganization to align with its three-year strategic plan in an effort to cut annual costs. Recently, Office Depot announced that it will sell its European business to The Aurelius Group.
Smith joins Office Depot from Lenovo Group, where he served as EVP and Chief Operating Officer and played a role in leading the company’s ambitious growth objectives and operational efficiencies to increase market share and profitability.
“I am delighted to accept the position of Chief Executive Officer at Office Depot,” said Smith in a statement. “Roland and his team have implemented a compelling three-year strategy and clearly put the company on a positive trajectory. I look forward to continuing the company’s momentum and identifying additional opportunities to provide customers with an exceptional experience, drive innovation and growth in products and services, while delivering value to the company’s shareholders.”
In conjunction with his appointment, Smith will join the Office Depot Board as a director.
“Gerry possesses significant operating expertise, having successfully led business units across Lenovo’s entire product portfolio, including an industry recognized supply chain organization,” said Warren Bryant, Lead Director of the Office Depot Board of Directors and Chair of the CEO Search Committee in a statement. “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.”