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New merchandising leader arrives at OfficeMax

NAPERVILLE, Ill. — OfficeMax has named a new executive to lead its merchandising initiatives including category management, strategic product planning, global sourcing, private label expansion and cost of goods sold. The company anounced that  Ronald Lalla has been named EVP, chief merchandising officer, effective Monday, March 19. He will report to Michael Lewis, EVP, president retail.

"Ron is a strategic merchant with a strong financial acumen who will focus on driving disciplined processes to enhance the customer experience and improve margins," said Ravi Saligram, president and CEO of OfficeMax. "His track record of driving innovations in both the retail and business-to-business office products sectors will be an asset as we focus on developing new models, new retail formats and entering new categories."

Most recently, Lalla held positions as chief merchandising officer and chief technology officer for Katz Group, which is one of Canada's leading drug store operators with over 1,800 drug stores across the country. Prior to that, he was EVP, global merchandising, for Corporate Express. While in that position, he implemented best-in-class programs for category and vendor management, resulting in significant cost savings and margin enhancement. He also held several leadership positions in merchandising, store operations and finance during his more than 10 years at Kmart Corp.

He attended the University of Manitoba, where he received his degree in commerce and then later earned his M.B.A from Duke University.

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