Office Depot are one of the leading suppliers of office equipment and stationery in the United States. The company operates online and also in a network of retail stores. The current CEO of the company is Gerry Smith. Here are ten things that you may not know about him.
1. He Attended Pacific Lutheran University
He got a degree in finance and marketing from Pacific Lutheran University. It is one of the oldest universities in Washington and was founded by Norwegian Lutherans in 1890. As well as academic success, the university puts a big emphasis on its students finding a career that also becomes their vocation.
2. He Joined Office Depot In 2017
He was offered the job of CEO at Office Depot in February 2017 and he accepted this job immediately. It did come as a surprise to the business world as Gerry Smith would not have been the first thought when it came to a successor to the previous CEO. This was the first time that he had held a CEO position.
3. His Previous Job Was At Lenovo
Before he started working at Office Depot he was Executive Vice President of Lenovo. He had been with this company for many years, having worked his way up to a senior position in the company in a fairly short space of time. He was highly regarded in this company and they would have been sorry to see him moving on.
4. His Background Is In The Tech Industry
He has spent most of his career before Office Depot working in the tech industry. Before he worked for Lenovo his previous jobs had also been in companies in the technology sector. The skills that he learned in this industry have given him a good insight into what needs to be done to grow the business at Office Depot.
5. He Joined Office Depot At A Difficult Time
His job offer at Office Depot came after the last CEO was forced to resign after failing to secure a merger with Staples. It was assumed that the merger would go through without any problems and no one expected it to fail. After the merger failed and several executives resigned a lot of people wondered where the company was going to go next, but Gerry has been able to turn its fortunes around.
6. He Often Drops In Unannounced To Office Depot Stores
He likes to make visits to stores unannounced so that he can see what experiences customers have when they are shopping. He does not expect staff to make a big deal out of his visit and prefers to be treated like just another colleague. He used to do his own mystery shopping but after two years in the job most people recognize him now.
7. He Served On The Executive Advisory Board For SCM World
When he was working for Lenovo he served on the Executive Advisory Board for SCM World. This board is made up from executives from the worlds leading technology companies with the aim of helping to improve the supply chain for all businesses.
8. He Has Introduced Co-Working Spaces In Stores
One of the first things he introduced as the new boss of Office Depot was the introduction of co-working spaces in some of their stores. People will have access to all the things you would find in a normal office such as printers and photocopiers. This is also a service that is offered by their rivals Staples, but Office Depot provides these facilities at a much more competitive price.
9. He Believes The Focus For Office Depot Should Be Small Businesses
He has plans to expand Office Depot even further in the future with the focus being on small businesses. He recognizes that these are the types of companies that are more likely to be loyal to Office Depot and the companies that they can provide the most help to. He also believes that as these companies grow then the business that they provide for Office Depot will also grow.
10. He Owns A Beachfront Property In South Florida
Gerry and his wife Michelle were reported to have paid more than $6 million for the mansion in Palm Beach. The house is less than an hours drive from Boca Raton where the headquarters for Office Depot are located and so is the ideal place to commute from.