Office Depot Realigns Management, Cuts North American President Job

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Delray Beach, Fla. - Office Depot has eliminated the position of president/North America as part of a realignment of the chain's management team.

The departure of Shawn McGhee, who joined the company 1998 as president of the merchandising group and became president/North America in January, did not come as a surprise, according to report by Aram Rubinson, hardlines analyst for PaineWebber.

As part of the realignment the following executives will report to Bruce Nelson, CEO:

  • Robert Keller, formerly executive VP of sales, has been named president of the Business Services Group;
  • Rolf van Kaldekerken, former executive VP of European Operations, has been named president of European Operations and will continue to oversee Office Depot's and Viking's operations there;
  • A search outside the company has begun for a new position, president of North American Retail Stores.

Viking North America and key staff positions, including chief financial officer, general counsel, head of human resources and others will also report to the CEO, the company said.

In commenting on North American operations, Nelson said in a prepared statement, "Retail store results have been disappointing, but they still account for over 57 percent of our total sales as a company. Improved performance is obviously essential to our future success. The new structure will focus all the energies of a proven retail operator on improving our stores."

As part of the realignment Gayle Aertker has been named executive VP of real estate reporting to Nelson until the president of North American Retail Stores is named. And Monica Luechtefeld has been named executive VP of e-commerce, reporting to Keller, president of the Business Services Group.

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