OPERATIONS

Office Depot creates new organizational structure

BY Dan Berthiaume

Boca Raton, Fla. – Office Depot has formed its executive committee and leadership team.

“Since I joined the Company last month, my priorities have been to name a headquarters location and select a leadership team that incorporates the best talent from both companies and also adds fresh perspective from the outside,” said Roland Smith, Chairman and CEO of Office Depot, Inc. “Last week we named Boca Raton as our corporate headquarters. Today, I am sharing the company’s new organizational structure which focuses on accountability and streamlined decision making. I believe this approach provides the best foundation to execute the merger synergies and transformation strategy for long-term growth.”

The following positions make up the executive committee and report to Smith:

President, North America. This position will be responsible for managing the following functions: retail, contract sales, e-commerce, merchandising, marketing, real estate and supply chain. The company will commence an external search for a seasoned executive to fill this role. In the meantime, this position’s direct reports will report directly to Smith.

Steve Schmidt is president, international. This position, which ultimately will be based in Europe, manages the Company’s international businesses in Europe, Asia, New Zealand, Australia and Mexico.

Steve Hare is the executive VP & CFO. He is responsible for the oversight of all financial aspects of the company, including financial planning, and accounting and control. He also manages treasury and investor relations as well as the internal audit and tax functions, and oversees IT and the integration office.

Michael Allison is the executive VP & chief people officer. He has global responsibility for all HR functions and the communications function reports to him.

Elisa Garcia is the executive VP & chief legal officer. She is responsible for managing legal, regulatory, compliance and government affairs worldwide as well as the loss prevention function. She also serves as general counsel and secretary for the organization.

Chief strategy and innovation officer. The company will begin an immediate search to fill this position which will drive strategy and lead efforts to develop and prioritize key business initiatives.

In addition to the executive committee, Smith has created a newly formed leadership team, which includes members of the executive committee and executives who report to the president of North America and the CFO. These executives are: Steve Calkins, executive VP of contract sales, Ron Lalla, executive VP of merchandising, Larry Hartley, senior VP of supply chain, and Tim Rea, executive VP of marketing, Rob Koch, senior VP of real estate, Todd Hale, senior VP and global CIO, and Deb O’Connor, senior VP of integration.

The company is conducting an outside search to fill the positions of executive VP of retail and executive VP of e-commerce. Juan Guerrero, currently senior VP of retail for legacy Office Depot, will act as interim head of retail during the search process for executive VP of retail and will be a candidate for this role. Mike Kirschner, currently senior VP of e-commerce for legacy Office Depot, will act as interim head of e-commerce and will be a candidate for this role.

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Staples Europe launches websites in Germany, Netherlands

BY Dan Berthiaume

Amsterdam, Netherlands – Staples Europe has launched new websites in both Germany and Netherlands. The sites offer a refreshed look and feel and many new features, such as personalized shopping with product recommendations based on customer preferences.

New features also include an updated search engine and filtering tools, easy reordering for frequently used products, quick checkout with a mini-cart that makes it easy to insert coupons, save addresses, and review orders, and a new store locator and ship-to-store functionality.

“From start to finish, the new Staples.de and Staples.nl websites provide an easy online shopping experience for businesses,” said Willem Vos, head of e-commerce, Staples Europe. “Customers will have a more personalized way to shop and can quickly find and order exactly what they need to help run their business.”

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Akamai enhances web experience technology

BY Dan Berthiaume

Cambridge, Mass. – Akamai is introducing enhancements to its Akamai Intelligent Platform web experience solution including EdgeStart, which uses Akamai’s globally-distributed network along with accelerated rendering in the browser to help deliver portions of web pages to users immediately and decrease load time. New protocol optimizations are intended to help overcome highly congested networks.

In addition, browser support for the WebP and JPEG XR advanced image formats is designed to improve the user experience while maintaining image quality, and intelligent use of local HTML5 cache helps achieve performance improvement in the browser for second hit requests, and requests across similar pages on a web property.

The addition of new tools in the Luna Control Center is intended to offer Akamai customers greater predictability regarding optimizations before they are implemented, as well as visibility into exactly what their customers experience after specific optimization decisions have been made. Historical Real User Measurement (RUM) data can provide customers greater visibility into traffic trends and allow them to draw conclusions about ideal performance optimization strategies. Reporting on Adaptive Image Compression affords greater insight into image compression optimization based on the quality of a user’s connectivity.

“Increasingly, our customers’ users are demanding a near instant web experience,” said Mike Afergan, senior VP and GM, Web Experience Business Unit, Akamai. “What’s more, our customers are looking to improve their control and visibility. It is our mission to bring to market the web experience solutions that will help our customers realize their goals in today’s fast moving environment. With these exciting new capabilities, we believe we are doing just that. We are excited to see what our customers and partners will do with these powerful tools.”

The latest feature enhancements are available now across the company’s Ion and Terra Alta solution lines.

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