Depot confirms Odland appointment

14 March 2005 – Delray Beach (FL): Office Depot has officially confirmed this morning’s news that Steve Odland has been appointed as its new chairman/CEO.

Odland, who had been chairman and president/CEO of auto parts retailer AutoZone for the past five years, will take over the reins from Neil Austrian who had been acting CEO since Bruce Nelson’s departure last October.

Commenting on the appointment, Austrian said: "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.

"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."

Odland, 46, has a distinguished history in retail. Before joining AutoZone he served as COO of supermarket operator Ahold USA. He said of his new role. "Office Depot is an excellent franchise and I look forward to working with its highly dedicated team to help the company achieve its full potential. My focus will be on driving profitable growth by exceeding the expectations of our customers, and building shareholder value by making Office Depot an industry leader in efficiency and productivity. It’s a great opportunity and I’m ready to get started."