Office Depot CEO Odland to Step Down

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Steve OdlandAs it released preliminary earnings results Monday, Office Depot (ODP) also announced that Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Steve Odland is stepping down.

The office supply retailer said that Odland, who has been at his job since 2005, has resigned from the company effective November 1, 2010 by mutual agreement with the board of directors. Neil Austrian, lead director, will serve as interim chairman and CEO, while the board conducts a search for a permanent replacement.

The announcement comes only days after the company, Odland and another executive agreed to pay $1 million to settle Securities and Exchange Commission charges that Office Depot improperly disclosed key financial information.

In addition, Office Depot also announced preliminary third-quarter results. The Boca Raton, Fla. retailer expects to report sales of approximately $2.9 billion, which is 4% lower than the same period last year, but in line with analyst estimates.

The company expects to report earnings of approximately $54 million in the quarter, compared to a loss of $413 million in the third quarter of 2009. It expects to report earnings per share of approximately 18 cents in the quarter, compared to a loss per share of $1.51 in the same period of 2009. Excluding a one-time gain of 15 cents, earnings are expected to be 3 cents per share, which would widely exceed analysts estimates of a loss of 3 cents per share.

Shares of Office Depot shot up more than 12% in premarket trading.
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