Office Depot says Starboard Value's Jeffrey Smith stepped down from its board of directors

Markets Associated Press

Office Depot said Wednesday that Jeffrey Smith resigned from its board of directors.

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Smith is the CEO and chief investment officer of Starboard Value LP, and he was elected to the company's board in 2013 as part of a struggle over Office Depot's direction. Starboard was Office Depot's biggest shareholder at the time and was seeking greater control of the company. During the dispute, Office Depot announced its merger with OfficeMax. Starboard continued to fight for greater representation on the board. When the two sides resolved their dispute, Smith was one of three Starboard nominees who became directors.

Smith said he joined the board to help Office Depot Inc. find a new CEO and combine its operations with OfficeMax. The company completed the $1.2 billion OfficeMax deal in November. A week later it named Roland Smith, a former supermarket executive, as CEO.

The Boca Raton, Florida, company said it will immediately begin searching for a replacement.