Staples, Inc. announced that the Board of Directors of Staples and Ron Sargent have mutually agreed that he will step down from the position of Chief Executive Officer after the Company’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders on June 14, 2016, at which time Shira Goodman, Staples’ President, North America Operations, will become interim Chief Executive Officer.
Upon re-election at the Annual Meeting, Sargent will continue to serve as a director and non-executive Chairman through the Company’s 2016 fiscal year ending on January 28, 2017. The process to identify a permanent CEO will be led by a Special Committee of the Board which will consider both internal and external candidates with the support of an executive search firm.
Robert E. Sulentic, Independent Lead Director of the Staples Board of Directors, stated, “The entire Board would like to thank Ron for his nearly three decades of dedicated service and leadership at Staples. Under Ron, Staples made consistent advancements that ensured and extended the company’s market leadership in the office products sector. Most notably he drove the growth of the commercial contract business which is central to Staples’ go-forward strategy. He also worked diligently on the acquisition of Office Depot and the Board appreciates the strong effort he made to secure governmental approval. With the termination of the merger, we mutually agreed that now is the right time to transition to new management to lead Staples through its next phase of growth. Shira has tremendous experience and a long track record of success at Staples, always bringing fresh perspective and change to every role she has had.”
Sargent said, “It has been an incredible honor to have worked with the talented and dedicated team at Staples for the past 27 years through a dynamic and ground-breaking time for the Company, our customers and the retail industry overall. I want to sincerely thank our associates and partners, every one of whom helped to deliver value for our customers. Following close collaboration over the past several years, I am confident in Shira’s and the team’s ability to deliver substantial shareholder value.”
Goodman said, “I am excited to take on this new role as the Staples team executes our strategic initiatives to drive shareholder value and position Staples for the next phase of growth. I am confident that we can do so by intensifying our focus on our best growth opportunities with mid-market business customers in North America and in key categories beyond office supplies.”