Office Depot Names New Chairman/CEO

Five months after the departure of chairman/CEO Bruce Nelson, Office Depot has appointed a new chairman/CEO: Steve Odland, who comes to the Delray Beach, FL-based multichannel merchant from AutoZone, where he’d served as chairman/president/CEO since January 2001.

“Steve’s track record in delivering strong operating performance and excellent financial results in challenging business environments makes him the ideal person to lead our company to the next level,” Office Depot board member Neil Austrian said in a statement. Austrian has served as interim chairman/CEO since October.

With annual sales of $5.6 billion, AutoZone is less than half the size of the nearly $14 billion Office Depot. And while AutoZone has roughly 3,500 auto supply stores in the U.S. and Mexico, it lacks a catalog division. In addition to its 969 North American stores, Office Depot has 78 stores in 14 other countries and operates 153 stores under joint venture and license arrangements in another seven countries. What’s more, its Viking Office Products catalog/Internet division operates throughout North America, Europe, and Asia.