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Exclusive: Office Depot’s Janet Schijns on Why She Left Verizon

Janet Schijns
James Anderson

James Anderson

**Editor’s Note: Click here to see which channel people were on the move in August.**

Janet Schijns’ sudden departure from Verizon to Office Depot has been something of a mystery for the last two months.

Office Depot’s new senior vice president of services recently spoke to Channel Partners about her new role and why she chose to leave Verizon. Schijns, who previously served as Verizon’s vice president of global channels and VP of Verizon Business Markets, says she was interested in helping Office Depot as it builds a new brand.

Schijns announced in July that she was leaving Verizon to explore personal opportunities. Office Depot announced her hire July 25. Read about how Verizon Business Markets is adjusting in her absence.

We have edited the interview transcript for clarity and length.

Channel Partners: What are you doing in this new job?

Janet Schijns: The title is SVP of services, and those services include all of our tech services as well as all of our business services. So think copy, print, ship, pack — all the services that we do for our customers. So I lead all of those services for Office Depot across all of our channels. We have 1,400 retail stores. We have a very robust website and omnichannel and a very robust business solutions group that does contracts and customer engagement, from enterprise to corporate to medium business. Across all the channels I lead our services.

CP: To what extent does it involve sales?

JS: When you think about all of those channels, what I and my team do is, we create, condition and do the go-to-market for all of the products that are services. And then we work closely with the sales organization to make sure they’re executing upon that and having the right customer experience and customer engagement.

While I do not own the sales organization, I have them matrix into me day-to-day. I am responsible for their results with my products and services. As you can imagine, it’s a very close relationship.

CP: What kind of skills or experiences from the last job are you able to apply to this?

JS: Everyone has asked that question in a different way. At the top level, my experience has been as a go-to-market expert in all distribution channels as well as products. I led products for a number of years at Verizon. I’ve led channels at Verizon and Motorola. Then I had my own go-to-market consultancy shop for over a decade. When you blend those two experiences together, it is a very interesting combination of my background and the things that I believe in and know are true. When you layer on that my ultimate geekiness and the fact that I’ve …

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