Office Depot Names Chairman and CEO
Mar 15, 2005
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Business appliance maker Office Depot, Inc. announced that Steve Odland has been named chairman and CEO.

Mr. Odland joins Office Depot from AutoZone, an auto parts retailer, where he had served as chairman, president, and CEO since January 2001. He has also served as COO of Ahold USA, Inc., a retailer on the eastern seaboard, and prior to that, he was president and CEO for Tops Markets, Inc., one of Ahold's operating companies.

Before joining Ahold, he served as president of the foodservice division of Sara Lee Corporation and spent 16 years at The Quaker Oats Company in various senior management capacities. Mr. Odland holds a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame and a master's degree in Management from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.

"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," said Neil R. Austrian, an Office Depot Board member who has served as Interim chairman and CEO since October 2004. "With his background in marketing and merchandising, his demonstrated focus on building loyalty through customer service and satisfaction, and an unparalleled record in the creation of shareholder value, we could not have found a better fit for our company. We are delighted that Steve has agreed to join us."

In connection with Mr. Odland's appointment, Office Depot has expanded the size of its board of directors from 11 to 12 members, and elected Mr. Odland to the board. Neil R. Austrian will continue to serve as a member of the board and will resume his duties as chair of the Company's Finance Committee.

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