Gerry Smith, one of the top executives at Lenovo, is leaving the company to become CEO at Office Depot.
The Florida-based company announced Smith’s hiring Monday morning before the markets opened.
Smith will replace current CEO Roland Smith, who is retiring.
Gerry Smith assumes the new job Feb. 27. He also will join the Office Depot board.
Lenovo Chair and CEO Yang Yuanqing praised Smith in a statement shortly after the news broke.
“Gerry has been part of a leadership team that has been instrumental in our growth and success over the last few years – from his leadership roles heading up our supply chain to integrating our Data Center business post the IBM x86 acquisition,” Yang said. “I wish Gerry well in his new endeavour leading Office Depot.”
Smith is “staying on for a transition” before taking the new job, according to a Lenovo spokesperson.
“His role will be covered by two leaders – Guan Wei, VP Global Supply Chain and Jon Pershke, VP Business Group,” the spokesperson added.
Smith also will receive $1.2 million in cash five days after he starts the job, according to a securities filing and media reports. The bonus makes up for one which he will forfeit from Lenovo.
“I am delighted to accept the position of Chief Executive Officer at Office Depot,” Gerry Smith said in a statement. “Roland and his team have implemented a compelling three-year strategy and clearly put the company on a positive trajectory. I look forward to continuing the company’s momentum and identifying additional opportunities to provide customers with an exceptional experience, drive innovation and growth in products and services, while delivering value to the company’s shareholders.”
Smith joined Lenovo in August of 2006 and held a number of different roles, most recently as executive vice president overseeing the global technology company’s supply chain. His position changed last November as part of a series of moves made by Lenovo.
He also has led Lenovo’s PC and Enterprise Business Group, a big focus of which was global server sales after Lenovo acquired IBM’s x86 business His title was chief operating officer. Smith also has served as president of Lenovo’s Americas geography operations.
Before joining Lenovo, Smith was an executive at Dell.
“On behalf of the Board, I’m pleased that we recruited a leader with Gerry’s broad skill set to lead Office Depot at this important time in the company’s history,” said Warren Bryant, who is Lead Director of the Office Depot board and served as chair of the CEO Search Committee.
“Gerry possesses significant operating expertise, having successfully led business units across Lenovo’s entire product portfolio, including an industry recognized supply chain organization. His long-standing relationships with some of Office Depot’s largest suppliers will enable him to quickly transition into the role. Additionally, we are impressed with Gerry’s demonstrated ability to lead large, complex organizations.”