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Office Depot Announces Executive Changes, Reaffirms Outlook
Mar 15, 2004
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Business appliance retailer Office Depot, Inc. announced three new executive appointments, continuing an organizational and executive realignment that began in late 2003:

Rick Lepley, president of Office Depot Japan, has been named executive vice president, North American Retail. He succeeds Jerry Colley, president, North American Stores, who has announced his decision to retire.

Chuck Rubin, who was named executive vice president and chief merchandising officer earlier this month, will assume additional responsibilities, heading up the retailer's Marketing organization. He succeeds Jocelyn Carter-Miller, who has decided to pursue other opportunities.

Frank P. Scruggs, Jr. has been named executive vice president, Human Resources. He replaces Jay Crosson, who has elected to leave the company to pursue other opportunities. Mr. Scruggs is an employment attorney with Greenberg Traurig LLP and a current member of the Office Depot Board. He will not stand for re-election to the Board at the 2004 Annual Meeting.

"We continue to position our company for its next phase of growth," stated Bruce Nelson, Office Depot's chairman and CEO. "Rick Lepley and Frank Scruggs are veteran contributors to our Company, with deep knowledge, insight, understanding and experience with Office Depot. Chuck Rubin is a proven retailing expert who has already demonstrated his ability to help lead more effective merchandising and marketing programs."

Mr. Nelson continued, "As announced late last September, we have created a new position -- president, North America -- and are actively engaged in a search to fill that role. This position will further streamline our organization and substantially reduce the number of my direct reports, speeding up decision making and enhancing our competitiveness. While our search continues, we are not standing still. We are moving ahead aggressively with our announced initiatives and putting the team in place that will take us into the future. We are committed to delivering on Office Depot's promise of being the most compelling place to work, shop, and invest. As we find opportunities to improve our overall executive leadership, we will do so."
When the realignment is completed, Nelson's direct reports will consist of the presidents of Office Depot operations in North America and Europe, along with the company's CFO, CIO, General Counsel, and executive vice presidents of E-Commerce and Human Resources.

In announcing these executive changes, Mr. Nelson also reaffirmed Office Depot's business outlook for the year: "We remain optimistic with our progress thus far in 2004. We are beginning to see the benefits of the many changes we have implemented in North America over the past twelve months, as well as those generated from our Guilbert acquisition. We remain comfortable with our previous guidance of 15%-20% EPS growth for the full year in 2004. North American retail comparable sales are positive through the first ten weeks of this quarter, and we remain confident that these early trends will continue to accelerate throughout 2004."

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