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The newly formed Office Depot, Inc. (ODP - Analyst Report) recently appointed Stephen E. Hare as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) with immediate effect. Hare replaces Co-CFOs Mike Newman and Deb O’Connor and is accountable to CEO Roland C Smith.  

While Newman resigned from his post, O’Connor will resume the role of Senior Vice President, Finance and Co-Chief Accounting Officer after serving an interim period of four months as Co-CFO. Notably, the company appointed Smith as Chairman and CEO a week after official completion of the merger between Office Depot and OfficeMax in November.

The new CFO Hare has prior experience as the Senior Vice President and CFO of The Wendy's Company (WEN - Analyst Report) from 2011 to Sep 2013. He had also served as the Senior Vice President and CFO of Wendy’s/Arby’s Group, Inc. from 2008 - 2011 and was the CFO of Arby’s Restaurant Group, Inc. as well.

In Feb 2013, OfficeMax and Office Depot decided to merge their businesses in order to compete better with the industry bellwether, Staples Inc. (SPLS - Analyst Report) and online rivals such as Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN - Analyst Report). The decision was for the benefit of both companies, which have been grappling with soft sales due to tight business budget. Consumers and small businesses remain frugal about big-ticket spending on items such as business machines and other durable products.

The all-stock merger agreement, which involves 2.69 Office Depot shares for each share of OfficeMax, would result in cost synergies in the upper half of $400 million to $600 million by the end of the third year following the conclusion of the deal.

The new company with total revenue of about $17 billion for the 12 months ended Sep 28, 2013 has approximately 66,000 employees worldwide and operates over 2,200 retail outlets in 59 countries.

Currently, Office Depot carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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