Office Depot names chief strategy officer
Boca Raton, Fla. – Office Depot Inc. has named Juliet Johansson as executive VP and chief strategy officer, effective immediately. Johansson is a member of Office Depot’s executive committee and reports to Roland Smith, chairman and CEO of Office Depot Inc.
Johansson’s background includes a decade of strategic advisory experience with McKinsey & Company and The Blackstone Group. From McKinsey, she joined Ryder System, where she spent five years in senior roles responsible for strategy, national sales and marketing. Most recently, Johansson served as senior VP, global commercial business for dental implant manufacturer Biomet 3i, a company she advised during her time with Blackstone.
“Juliet brings the ideal mix of advisory talent and practical experience necessary to lead our efforts to define and develop key strategic initiatives,” said Smith. “Her proven track record of developing and implementing strategy in diverse business environments gives me great confidence that she will be instrumental in our work to identify exciting new growth opportunities.”
EBay, Wal-Mart, Google endorse GS1 online commerce guide
Lawrenceville, N.J. — EBay, Google and Walmart have endorsed a new GS1 U.S. guide that resolves incorrect and duplicate product information online. Developed for e-tailers, retailers, e-commerce platform providers, content aggregators and content distributors, the GTIN Validation Guide offers best practices for leveraging GS1 standards to enhance the consumer shopping experience while boosting e-tailer efficiency, revenue and loyalty.
It also offers improvements for better data management and product analytics. Global Trade Item Numbers (GTIN), the numbering sequence within bar codes and commonly called Universal Product Codes (U.P.C.), are the foundation of the GS1 System of Standards and have identified products at point-of-sale for 40 years. The GTIN Validation Guide supports extending GTINs online to help ensure more accurate and consistent product descriptions that link to images and promotions, including coupons. Large online marketplaces and search engines already require GTINs to better help customers find, evaluate and purchase products online.
“As we continue to create a seamless shopping experience across online, mobile and stores, we rely on accurate and consistent product information,” said Jeremy King, CTO at Wal-Mart Global E-Commerce. “The GS1 US GTIN Validation Guide is an important tool for improving the quality of product data and the relevance of online and mobile search results.”
NRF urges PIN-based credit adoption to Senate
Washington, D.C. — The National Retail Federation (NRF) told the Senate on March 26 that it’s time for an overhaul of the nation’s credit- and debit-card system, saying banks’ insistence on cards that use a signature instead of a Personal Identification Number (PIN) puts merchants and their customers at risk.
“Everything a fraudster needs is right there on the card,” VP and general counsel Mallory Duncan said, describing how the cardholder’s name and account number are clearly printed on each card along with the expiration date and security code. “The bottom line is that cards are poorly designed and fraud-prone products that the system has allowed to continue to proliferate.”
Duncan comments came in a statement submitted to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, which held a hearing on criminal cyber attacks in which consumer card numbers have been stolen. He said current magnetic stripe cards with signatures are too easy to duplicate and forge.
“There are technologies available that could reduce fraud,” Duncan said. “An overhaul of the fraud-prone cards that are currently used in the U.S. market is long overdue.”
NRF has long-advocated for replacing current cards where consumers sign to approve a transaction with next-generation cards that would require use of a PIN. With or without an embedded microchip, a PIN-based card would provide greater security for consumers and retailers alike, Duncan said.
“Protecting all cards with a PIN instead of a signature is the single most important fraud protection step that could be taken quickly,” Duncan said. “It’s proven, it’s effective, and it’s relatively easily implementable. PIN debit cards are close to ubiquitous worldwide, and readily producible in the U.S. Chip is a desirable add-on. If speed of implementation is of importance, then substituting PIN for signature is preferable to implementing chip.”
Along with switching to more-secure, PIN-based cards, NRF supports additional steps aimed at preventing fraud and data breaches, including end-to-end encryption of data, tokenization rather than storing data, and mobile payments.