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Former Home Depot exec joins Office Depot

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Former Home Depot executive Troy Rice has joined Office Depot as EVP retail as the office products company continues to build out its senior leadership team in the wake of its merger with OfficeMax.

Rice replaces Juan Guerrero and will report directly to Roland Smith, chairman and CEO of Office Depot.

On Rice’s resume are 16 years in positions of increasing responsibility at Home Depot, culminating in the role of division president, Northern Division, in which he held full operational responsibility for Home Depot’s largest division, with more than $24 billion of annual revenue.

Most recently, Rice was with Toys “R” Us for eight years.

“Troy is an accomplished executive who has focused his career on improving operational performance and the customer experience in multi-unit retail stores,” said Smith. “His 20-plus years of experience in retail operations and his omnichannel orientation will enable him to make immediate and significant contributions to a number of Office Depot’s 2014 critical priorities.”

“Office Depot has the exciting opportunity of bringing two great brands together in a way that provides the greatest benefit for our customers,” Rice said. “I look forward to applying my experience and energy to this challenge and to making a significant positive impact.

Rice, 51, earned a Bachelor of Business Administration and Finance from Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Ga.

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Nest suspends smoke-alarm sales

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Nest Labs, the makers of the Nest Protect fire alarm and smoke detector, say the high-tech, home-of-the-future-type product could get confused, causing safety problems for homeowners.

The company, which was purchased by Google for $3.2 billion earlier this year, is suspending sales of the product until the problem is solved.

In a letter to customers, Nest explained that under the wrong conditions the alarm could interpret certain movements as the signal to stop emitting alarm sounds.

The idea behind the noise cut-off function — known as the "Nest wave" — was to allow homeowners to easily turn off the alarm in the event of a non-threatening smoke situation, such as the burning of toast in the kitchen. It was the type of user-friendly, high-tech, smart-home feature that encouraged Google to pay $3.2 billion for the company earlier this year. 

Nest is founded by a former Apple designer Tony Fadell, credited with playing a major role in developing various Apple products.

In a letter to the Nest community, Fadell said the problem with the Nest Wave was discovered first by Nest. He said the product received no complaints, but the company puts safety first. 

He added: "… The fact that it could even potentially happen is extremely important to me, and I want to address it immediately. We feel that the best and safest thing to do is to immediately disable the Nest Wave feature to resolve the issue and remove any safety concerns. While we fix Nest Wave, we have also halted sales of all new Nest Protect alarms to ensure no one buys an alarm that needs an immediate update." 

Nest’s original product is a high-tech thermostat. 

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EGO brand partners with Depot

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Home Depot’s fifth annual Spring Black Friday promotional event is underway and one of the “Wow,” items being featured is an outdoor product tool system with the industry’s most powerful rechargeable battery.

Home Depot said it has an exclusive partnership with the EGO brand to offer a line of outdoor equipment powered by a 56-volt lithium-ion battery that is said to be the industry’s most powerful. In addition to offering four EGO brand products (a lawn mower, blower, hedge trimmer and string trimmer) powered by the interchangeable battery, the retailer said it is expanding its longtime exclusive relationship with Ryobi to offer the Ryobi ONE+ product line with more than 50 tools that are compatible with one battery.

"This spring and every season, The Home Depot aims to bring the latest tools to market to make the to-do list easier and simpler," said Dana Hudson, one of the retailer’s senior merchants. "Our continued partnership with Ryobi and our new partnership with EGO are great examples of bringing the best and latest technology to our customers."

The EGO and Ryobi products both operate with lithium-ion batteries that are lighter, run longer and can be recharged more quickly that earlier cordless tools, which ran on nickel cadmium, or NiCad, battery systems.

"EGO has the industry’s best and most powerful cordless outdoor power tools on the market," said EGO VP Joe Turoff. "EGO chose to partner exclusively with The Home Depot because of its reputation for providing consumers with the newest and best tools available." 

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