OPERATIONS

Office Depot, OfficeMax narrow list of CEO candidates to five

BY Dan Berthiaume

Boca Raton, Fla. – Office Depot and OfficeMax have narrowed their list of CEO candidates to five, and expect to have the person in place in September. The rival chains are set to merge in a $1.2 billion deal that is expected to close by the end of the year.

In a joint press release, the two retailers said that after reviewing and vetting more than 100 candidates and interviewing eight, the CEO Selection Committee has narrowed the field down to five candidates it believes can lead the combined business forward following the merger.

“Our objective is to have a candidate in place prior to the closing of the merger to address critical issues such as headquarters location, company name, culture and strategy,” said Office Depot board member Nigel Travis, the chairman and CEO of Dunkin’ Brands, Inc.

Each member of the committee has been actively engaged in evaluating the slate of candidates, including several that were suggested by Starboard Value, LP, an investor in Office Depot’s stock. The criteria for evaluating qualified candidates included: public company CEO with Wall Street credibility and a global perspective, or strong executive from a Fortune 100 organization; high integrity, team building, transformational leader with a proven track record; and experienced business integrator.

As announced on June 11, 2013, the two companies hired executive search firm Korn/Ferry International to assist the CEO Selection Committee in its comprehensive search. The committee is co-chaired by OfficeMax board member Jim Marino, the former president and CEO of Alberto Culver Company, and Travis.

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Vikings running back Adrian Peterson joins Team Wheaties family

BY CSA STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS — Wheaties has chosen MVP Adrian Peterson as the face of three limited-edition cereal boxes, the first of which is available in stores this week.

As the latest "The Breakfast of Champions" athlete, Peterson will be honored at a celebratory event later this month by Wheaties.

"It’s an honor to add Adrian Peterson to our growing Team Wheaties family," said Jim Wilson, Wheaties marketing manager. "Adrian embodies the heart of a champion whether he’s scoring touchdowns or giving back to his community. Wheaties has been committed to providing athletes with the nutrition they need to help them perform at their best for more than 85 years and we are proud to continue that tradition with Adrian Peterson."

"I remember as a kid growing up and hearing my parents tell me that I’d better eat my Wheaties," said Peterson. "I never thought that as a kid that I would actually be on the same box that once had my childhood heroes on it. I am blessed and fortunate to have such an incredible honor. I would like to remind all of the kids that they better eat their Wheaties."

Peterson made his pro football debut in 2007 and had a record-breaking rookie season. In his sophomore season, he became his team’s first running back to lead in rushing by setting the team record with 1,760 yards. In 2012, Peterson returned to the game after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament and earned player of the year and MVP awards. Peterson is also actively involved in the community and gives his time to numerous charitable causes.

Peterson launched his All Day Foundation in 2008 to raise awareness and funds for programs that help build a better future for at-risk-children. The foundation promotes the well-being of at-risk kids by partnering with nonprofits and developing new programs in primary areas, including sportsmanship and leadership, youth education and enrichment and hunger.

For these limited-edition boxes, Wheaties is partnering with Blippar, an augmented reality platform that uses image recognition technology to bring the box to life through an instantaneous, interactive experience. Wheaties customers who download the Blippar app can then "blipp" or scan the box with their iOS, Android or Blackberry 10 device and unlock exclusive hidden content including an AP video game and some sharable photo opportunities.

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STORE SPACES

Shoe Carnival, Five Below select Ecova for utility expense, data management services

BY Marianne Wilson

Spokane, Wash. — Ecova, a total energy and sustainability management company, has been selected by specialty retailers Shoe Carnival and Five Below to provide utility expense and data management services. Ecova will assist the chains in monitoring, understanding and reducing energy across their portfolios.

Ecova’s utility expense and date management solution will help Shoe Carnival better understand its energy consumption and spending to provide actionable insights across its 370 locations. Ecova will leverage utility data to help the retailer reduce energy use and build a foundation for driving additional improvements.

“As Shoe Carnival continues to expand across the country and develop in every kind of climate this nation offers, gaining accurate and reliable data is critical for our operational efficiency,” said Tim Baker, executive VP store operations, Shoe Carnival. “Ecova’s utility expense and data management service will help us better track, monitor, and understand our energy use.”

Five Below has implemented Ecova’s utility expense and data management solution with a focus on cost and energy savings. Ecova will leverage its “Big Data Warehouse,” which contains over 2.5 billion points of energy data from more than 700,000 facilities, to help the retailer gain a better understanding of its energy consumption and spending to improve performance across its 250 stores.

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