Office Depot CFO Steve Hare leaves at short notice

  • Push-out Score suggests push-out forces
  • After about four years in the position
  • Thanks and good wishes for Hare
  • Joe Lower taking over

(exechange) — Boca Raton, Florida, January 3, 2018 — Steve Hare, finance chief of Office Depot, leaves. It is a change at short notice. As announced by Office Depot, Inc. in a news release on Wednesday, January 3, 2018, Stephen E. (Steve) Hare leaves his post as Chief Financial Officer at the provider of office supplies after about four years in the position, effective January 8, 2018.

Among the 3,000 largest publicly held companies incorporated in the U.S. based on market capitalization, the average tenure of the CFOs who departed over the past twelve months was 5.8 years, according to data compiled by exechange.

Hare’s move comes ten months after Gerry P. Smith took over as CEO of Office Depot, Inc.

Furthermore, Hare’s move comes ten months after Joseph S. Vassalluzzo took over as Chairman of Office Depot, Inc.

Hare’s duties will be taken over by Joe Lower, most recently Chief Financial Officer at B/E Aerospace, Inc.

The fact that Hare’s successor is brought in from outside suggests that the board may seek to stimulate change with fresh ideas and new initiatives.

In general, an outsider does not have the constraints of an insider when it comes to leading painful changes or making unpopular decisions.

“We continue to transform for the future”

A reason for Hare’s imminent departure from the CFO post was not explicitly given. Chief Executive Officer Gerry Smith said: “We are excited to have Joe join the company as we continue to transform for the future.”

Precise information about Hare’s future plans was not immediately available.


Office Depot said: “Lower succeeds Stephen E. Hare, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, who is retiring after four years in the role.”

Share price decline

The change follows a sharp decline in the share price of Office Depot, Inc. since August 2017.

Chaired by Joseph S. Vassalluzzo

Office Depot, Inc. is chaired by Joseph S. Vassalluzzo.

Joseph S. Vassalluzzo has served as a director on the Company’s Board since August 2013 and was appointed as the independent non-executive Chairman of the Board in February 2017.

CEO: Gerry P. Smith

Gerry P. Smith serves as CEO of Office Depot, Inc. Gerry P. Smith has been the Chief Executive Officer at Office Depot, Inc. since February 27, 2017.

In the position of CFO since 2013

Stephen E. Hare was named Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Office Depot, Inc. in December 2013.

In this role, Hare is responsible for overseeing all financial aspects of the Company, including Financial Planning and Analysis, Accounting and Financial Reporting, as well as managing the Tax, Internal Audit, Treasury, M&A and Investor Relations functions.

Hare joined Office Depot from The Wendy’s Company where he served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

Hare also was Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Wendy’s/Arby’s Group, Inc.

Previously, he served as Chief Financial Officer of Arby’s Restaurant Group, Inc., Cadmus, AMF Bowling Worldwide, and James River Corp.

Hare serves on the Board of Directors of Hanger, Inc.

He graduated with a BBA from the University of Notre Dame and earned an MBA from the Harvard Business School.

Hare will assist in the transition of duties.

Push-out Score suggests push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Steve Hare’s imminent move.

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange suggests that push-out forces may have contributed to the change.

Read the full story in the exechange report 2.2018 ($).