Retail vet Cosby to lead Office Depot N.A.

Former CVS, Macys and Sears executive Mark Cosby has a new role at Office Depot where he will serve as president of the company’s North American business.

Cosby, 55, most recently served as president of CVS/pharmacy from October 2011 until the end of last year with responsibility for all aspects of a $65 billion retail business that included 7,600 retail stores and 19 distribution centers. By comparison, Office Depot’s North American business includes a roughly 1,900 store retail division and a commercial division that last year combined to generate annual sales of more than $8 billion.

In his new role, Cosby will report to Office Depot chairman and CEO Roland Smith and have responsibility for the company's retail, contract sales, e-commerce, merchandising, marketing, real estate and supply chain functions in North America.

Prior to CVS, Cosby spent five years at Macy's, Inc., where he served in a number of executive roles, including president. He also served as president of full line stores at Sears, Roebuck & Company and chief operating officer and chief development officer at YUM! Brands, Inc.

"Mark brings three decades of significant leadership experience at large and complex retail operations, including serving as president of three leading retail chains. I believe Mark's leadership style, skills and experience will enable him to quickly make a positive impact on our business,” Smith said.

One area where his impact will be felt immediately relates to the integration of Office Depot and OfficeMax following the merger of the two companies in November 2013. Shortly thereafter, the company announced plans to close roughly 400 stores, including 150 units this year.

“One of our 2014 critical priorities is to improve our store footprint in North America to best meet customer demand, ensure we are appropriately positioned in the markets we serve, and align with our unique selling proposition which we are developing this year,” Smith said when Office Depot reported first quarter results on May 6. “The overlapping retail footprint resulting from the merger provides us with a unique opportunity to consolidate and optimize our store portfolio, while maintaining the retail presence necessary to serve our customers.”
 

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