Investors cheered the news of Roland C. Smith being vested
with the responsibility of spearheading the new
Office Depot, Inc.
), a provider of office products and services. Shares of this
Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock jumped 3.3% within a day of this
announcement. The appointment of Smith as Chairman and Chief
Executive Officer (CEO) came a week after official completion of
the merger between Office Depot and OfficeMax.
Smith, who has vast experience in the retail sector, last
served as the CEO and President of Delhaize America, the division
of Delhaize Group, a supermarket chain. Prior to this, he served
as President and CEO of
The Wendy's Company
); President and CEO of Wendy's/Arby's Group, Inc.; and CEO of
Wendy's International, Inc.
Neil Austrian, Chairman and CEO of Office Depot and Ravi
Saligram, President and CEO of OfficeMax, who collectively headed
the new entity for a week, resigned from the company and
In February, OfficeMax and Office Depot decided to merge their
businesses in order to better compete with the industry
) and online rivals such as
). The decision augurs well for both the companies, which have
been grappling with soft sales due to tight business budget.
Consumers and small businesses remain frugal about big-ticket
spending on items such as business machines and other durable
The all-stock merger agreement, which involves 2.69 Office
Depot shares for each share of OfficeMax, would result in cost
synergies in the upper half of $400 million to $600 million by
the end of the third year following the conclusion of the
The new company with total revenue of about $17 billion for
the 12 months ended Sep 28, 2013 has a headcount of approximately
66,000 employees globally, and offers service in 59 countries and
operates over 2,200 retail outlets.
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