Office Depot Parent ODP CEO Takes Temporary Leave Of Absence For Medical Procedure

A non-executive chairman of the board is assuming CEO Gerry Smith’s authority and responsibilities while Smith is out on leave for an unspecified medical procedure ODP says will require several weeks of recovery time.


Gerry Smith

ODP Corp. CEO Gerry Smith is taking a medical leave of absence.

Boca Raton, Fla.-based ODP, the parent company of Office Depot and OfficeMax, on Monday said in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing that Smith “began a temporary medical leave of absence to undergo a medical procedure that requires several weeks of recovery.”

The company did not specify the specific medical procedure.

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However, a company spokesperson responded to a CRN request for further information via email saying, “We expect no interruption in business operations and maintain our strong commitment and focus on empowering every business, professional and consumer to achieve more every day.”

[Related: Office Depot CEO: The ‘New ODP’ On Path To ‘Unlocking The Full Potential Of Our Business’]

Smith joined ODP as CEO and a member of the board of directors in early 2017 after 11 years at Lenovo, leaving that company as executive vice president and chief operating officer.

Taking over for Smith during his leave is Joseph Vassalluzzo, ODP’s non-executive chairman of the board. Vassalluzzo, who assumed his non-executive chairman role at the same time Smith joined ODP, assumes all of Smith’s authority and responsibilities until he returns from his leave.

ODP under Smith has recently taken a number of steps, not all of which were successful, to pave the way for growth in a changing retail and B2B office business.

The company last year restructured itself into four business units, including ODP Business Solutions contract business, Office Depot which includes its retail and e-commerce platform, Veyer which includes its supply chain and logistics capabilities, and Varis which includes its digitally-native B2B procurement platform.

ODP in early 2021 considered separating its B2B and consumer operations into two separate businesses in the wake of an unsuccessful bid by rival Staples to purchase all or part of Office Depot, but canceled that split in June of 2022.

ODP in early 2022 sold its Compucom IT managed services business for $305 million, far less than the $1 billion it paid for Compucom in 2017.