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Office Depot - The history
F. Patrick Sher, Stephen Doughtery, and Jack Kopkin founded Office Depot in October 1986. They became the company's chairman and chief executive officer, the president, and executive vice president respectively. The three people formerly worked with Mr. HOW Warehouse, a home improvement company that Sher sold to Service Merchandise in 1983. In October 1986, the first was open at Lakes Mall in Lauderdale Lakes, Florida.
The company published its initial public offering of stock and went public in 1988. In 1991, it merged with Office Club, which provided an expansion to the West Coast.
Office Depot entered the Australian and European direct mail market after acquiring Viking Direct in 1998. Viking Direct expanded to Central America with new retail stores in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Costa Rica through a joint licensing agreement in 2002. Office Depot sold Office Depot Europe to an investment firm in 2017.
On Feb. 20, 2013, it was stated that OfficeMax and Office Depot would combine in an all-stock deal, pending regulatory approval and stockholder approval. The merger was completed on November 5, 2013. Office Depot proclaimed the closure of 400 stores due to declining sales and customer migration to e-retailers in 2014.
Gerry Smith was named as the company's new CEO, valid from February 2017 while Smith was the chief operating officer at Lenovo Group.