VIKING’S IRWIN HELFORD TO RETIRE

Sep 01, 1999 9:30 PM  By

Viking Office Products chairman Irwin Helford, who took over a $13 million office supplies catalog in 1984 and turned it into a $1.7 billion industry leader before merging with superstore retailer Office Depot last year, plans to retire on Sept. 30. With Helford gone from day-to-day operations, Viking CEO Bruce Nelson, who is also president of Office Depot International, will devote additional time to Viking’s domestic business. Helford will remain with the parent firm as vice chairman and a board member. And what will become of Helford’s familiar photo, which graces virtually every Viking catalog? “My contract gives Viking and Office Depot the rights to my name and likeness for as long as they want it,” Helford says. “And as long as it’s done in good taste, I’m happy with that.”