Office Depot, Inc. (NYSE:ODP) and OfficeMax Incorporated (NYSE:OMX) today provided an update on the CEO search process for the combined company as part of the overall progress on integration planning. At the time that Office Depot and OfficeMax agreed to merge, both companies’ boards of directors determined to undertake a comprehensive search process, which would consider both internal and external candidates in order to identify the best-qualified CEO to lead a combined company with $18 billion in pro forma revenue in 2012. To date, more than 100 candidates have been reviewed and vetted, and eight of the top candidates have already been interviewed. The CEO Selection Committee has narrowed the selection process to five exceptional candidates it believes can lead the combined business forward following the merger, with the goal of having a permanent CEO in place by September. As announced on June 11, 2013, the two companies hired executive search firm Korn/Ferry International to assist the CEO Selection Committee in its comprehensive search. The Committee is co-chaired by OfficeMax Board Member Jim Marino, the former President and CEO of Alberto Culver Company, and Office Depot Board Member Nigel Travis, the Chairman and CEO of Dunkin’ Brands, Inc. Each member of the Committee has been actively engaged in evaluating the slate of candidates, including several that were suggested by Starboard Value, LP, an investor in Office Depot’s stock. The criteria for evaluating qualified candidates included: public company CEO with Wall Street credibility and a global perspective, or strong executive from a Fortune 100 organization; high integrity, team building, transformational leader with a proven track record; and experienced business integrator. “We are very pleased with the progress made on the joint CEO search process and the strong caliber of CEO candidates we have at present,” said Mr. Travis. “Our objective is to have a candidate in place prior to the closing of the merger to address critical issues such as headquarters location, company name, culture and strategy.