Office Depot exec ousted for 'improper relationship' with associate

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Office Depot has terminated Charles Brown, president of the company's international division, for having an "improper relationship" with an associate, the company said in a statement. A replacement was not immediately named, and Office Depot did not identify the other party involved in the matter. 

Brown joined the Boca Raton, Fla.-based retailer as SVP of finance and controller in 1998. He was promoted to the position of EVP and CFO in 2001 and in 2005 he was promoted to his most recent role.  

Prior to joining Office Depot, Brown spent two years at Denny's as SVP and CFO. He also held various senior level positions at Aramark Corporation, PepsiCo and KPMG.

Office Depot's business leadership is Europe and Asia will now report directly to chairman and CEO Neil Austrian, according to the company's statement. Mike Newman, EVP and CFO, will assume responsibility of Office Depot de Mexico and the company's overall Latin American operation. Office Depot refused to provide additional comment regarding Brown's termination.

In a major company restructuring that occurred in July, Office Depot named Bob Moore its EVP and CMO and appointed Kevin Peters president of North America, a new position. The retailer also combined its North American retail and business solutions divisions and split the role of EVP of e-commerce and direct marketing into two roles.

Austrian was named permanent chairman and CEO on May 25. At the time, Austrian said the company would increase its marketing to reverse its fourth-quarter and full-year 2010 results, which saw sales drop 4% to $11.6 billion.

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