Office Depot Inc. has hired a tech industry veteran as its new chief executive officer.
Gerry Smith will take the reins of Office Depot, No. 9 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500 Guide, on Feb. 27. He replaces Roland Smith, who announced in August that he is retiring. Gerry Smith has spent the past decade in a variety of executive roles at electronics giant Lenovo Group Ltd. (No. 16). Prior to joining Lenovo in 2006, he spent nearly a decade working for computer manufacturer Dell Inc. (No. 3).
“Roland and his team have implemented a compelling three-year strategy and clearly put the company on a positive trajectory,” Gerry Smith said in a statement. “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.” Office Depot intends to focus its efforts on growing its North American business, having agreed in September to sell its European operations.
Roland Smith was named CEO of Office Depot in November 2013 not long after the company merged with former competitor OfficeMax Inc. He also oversaw the company’s proposed merger with office supplies giant Staples Inc. (No. 5), which was dropped in May after a court ruled in favor of antitrust officials who successfully argued that the merger would “substantially impair competition in the sale and distribution of consumable office supplies to large business-to-business customers.”
According to Top500Guide.com, Office Depot generated an Internet Retailer-estimated $4.386 billion in online sales in 2015, up 2.0% from $4.300 billion in 2014.