Viking’s Helford retires…again

Wondering what Michael Jordan and Irwin Helford have in common? Both have retired more than once. CATALOG AGE has learned Helford retired last month as chairman of Viking Office Products for the second time.

Helford had originally retired from the office supplies cataloger in 1999, 15 years after taking over the company and less than a year after selling it to office supplies superstore Office Depot. But he came out of retirement last year when his successor at Viking, Bruce Nelson, was promoted to CEO of Office Depot.

This time around, Helford has been succeeded by Anne Cashman-Laws, who previously headed Viking’s Australian business. She was promoted to senior vice president/general manager, overseeing the day-to-day Viking operations. But as with three-time retirement-quitter Jordan, don’t count Helford out for another comeback: He continues to occupy an office at Viking’s Los Angeles headquarters and hasn’t completely severed his ties with the cataloger, retaining the role of chairman emeritus.

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