A Message to Office Depot, Inc. Associates from Gerry Smith, CEO
June 2, 2020
Like you, I am saddened and deeply concerned by the senseless deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and many more African Americans and people of color because of the racial inequality that still exists in our country. This is unacceptable and needs to be systematically addressed by our country. We at Office Depot need to be part of this necessary change. We need to support our black associates and all people of color with the respect, unity, and equality that we all deserve. To associates and customers who are hurting, angry, and scared, I want you to know that Office Depot stands with you.
As part of our 5C Culture, our Caring Culture reminds us that we value and respect the talents and contributions of all associates, and we're committed to fostering a welcoming and inclusive work environment where all individuals are treated equally, fairly, and respectfully. We are a company with zero tolerance for racism, discrimination, hate, insensitive behavior or violence of any kind. As always, our Associate Resource Groups are of the utmost importance, and my Leadership Team and I appreciate their support as we work together to help all associates.
I read a great article, “How to Make this Moment the Turning Point of Real Change,” written by President Obama, that was published in Medium yesterday. I would encourage you to read it as it is aligned with our 5C Culture, and it talks about the genuine and justifiable frustration all of us feel right now. President Obama highlights the importance of us all modeling ethical behavior, and he reinforces that in order to impact change, we must drive it at a local level. He also eloquently states, “If, going forward, we can channel our justifiable anger into peaceful, sustained, and effective action, then this moment can be a real turning point in our nation’s long journey to live up to our highest ideals.”
Over the next few weeks, you will see Office Depot and CompuCom supporting impacted families across America with donations to Feeding America as well as donations to Boys & Girls Clubs in many locations across the U.S. Although this was already in process before these tragic events, I feel it is even more important now to help our communities. We will continue to look for ways to truly change and impact our country and support our customers on a nationwide basis in the future.
The safety of our associates is our top priority. Unfortunately, Office Depot stores have experienced damage and looting in some cities. However, we are fortunate that, as of now, no associates have been injured by these actions.
This is the time to support each other. Please join me and the Executive Leadership Team as we come together to support the communities where we live and work, along with the customers who rely on us for the products and services they need to sustain and grow their businesses.
Simply put, racism and discrimination are not welcome here. We each play a critical role in serving our communities and our customers – and our diverse perspectives, ideas, and experiences are what drive our success.
Gerry Smith, CEO
David Bleisch, EVP, Chief Legal and Administrative Officer
David Centrella, SVP, Financial Planning and Analysis
John Gannfors, EVP, Chief Merchandising and Supply Chain Officer
Todd Hale, EVP, Chief Information Officer
Zoe Maloney, SVP, Chief Human Resources Officer
Kevin Moffitt, EVP, Chief Retail Officer
Stephan Mohan, EVP, Business Solutions Division
Mick Slattery, President, CompuCom