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Office Depot Governance Failures

An Office Depot store in Fremont, California.

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Office Depot (ODP) recently bid a tearful good-bye to its delinquent Chairman and CEO Steve Odland. The good-bye was so tearful that despite wrong doings relating to Reg FD and misleading investors the golden parachute was allowed to deploy. Steve Odland has been allowed to make millions of dollars while leaving behind a regulatory disaster.

Lets look at the board of directors and their backgrounds. They are ultimately to blame. The data presented below is from Office Depots investor relations section of their website. This is Office Depot’s Wall of Shame:

Lee Ault III: Chair of mutual funds managed by Capital Research & Management

Neil Austrian: Used to be President and COO of the NFL

Justin Bateman: Partner BC Partners New York office. He claims a due diligence background from Pricewaterscooper

David Berman: Retired chairman of Walgreens

David Fuente: Retired chair of Office Depot

Brenda Gaines: Retired President & COO of Diners Club

Myra Hart: Member of Harvard B School senior faculty

W Scott Hedrick: Former head of Staples. co-exists with Lee Ault III at American Funds Target Date Retirement Services

Marsha Evans: Former Rear Admiral United States Navy. On the boards of Lehman and Weight Watchers

Kathleen Mason: President and CEO of something called the Tuesday Morning Club

James Rubin: BC Partners

Raymond Svider: BC Partners

Thomas Colligan: Vice Dean Wharton School Aresty Institute of Executive Education 

This failure is attributable to the above.

Disclosure: George Gutowski writes from a caveat emptor perspective. I hold no positions in stocks mentioned in this post.