Office Depot Names Roland Smith CEO of Merged Chain

Office Depot Inc., which completed a merger with OfficeMax Inc. last week, named Roland Smith as chief executive officer and chairman of the newly formed office-supply chain.

Smith most recently served as CEO of Delhaize America LLC, a chain of supermarkets with $18 billion in revenue that includes the Food Lion brand, Boca Raton-based Office Depot said yesterday in a statement. He was also CEO for Wendy’s Co.

Office Depot and OfficeMax, the second- and third-largest office-supply chains in the U.S., agreed in February to combine in a $1.17 billion deal after losing sales to online rivals and Staples Inc. They said the merged company would have more than 2,200 stores and combined revenue of about $17 billion, compared with $24 billion in sales for Staples.

Office Depot rose 1.5 percent to $5.29 yesterday in late trading. The shares had gained 59 percent this year through the New York close, compared with a 24 percent advance for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

At one time the search process included Neil Austrian, Office Depot’s chief executive, and Ravi Saligram, his counterpart at OfficeMax. When the deal closed on Nov. 5, Office Depot said it hadn’t found a top executive yet and named Austrian and Saligram co-CEOs. Both executives have resigned from the retailer and the board following Smith’s appointment.

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