Naperville, Ill. - OfficeMax president/CEO Sam Duncan will step down three months before his planned retirement, to be succeeded Nov. 8 by Ravi Saligram.
Duncan will also relinquish his role as board chairman, which will be filled by lead director Rakesh Gangwal.
The move comes amid buyout speculation sparked by a JP Morgan Chase research note suggesting that the No. 3 office-supply chain is undervalued and a good candidate for acquisition.
It also follows the departure in July of executive VP/COO Sam Martin, whose duties were assumed by Duncan.
Duncan is credited with stabilizing OfficeMax through a five-year strategic plan that included cost reductions, store closings, investments infrastructure investment, growth of its core business and expansion into adjacent markets.
"Over the past five years under Sam Duncan's leadership, OfficeMax has completed a successful turnaround and strengthened its business," Saligram said in a statement. "I am excited to be joining OfficeMax as the company continues to capitalize on opportunities for long-term growth and success. I look forward to partnering with the management team and our dedicated associates to evolve the company to the next level through innovation and a commitment to serving consumers and business customers."