Staples CEO Ron Sargent to Step Down after Office Depot Merger Collapsed

Staples CEO Ron Sargent

Ron Sargent, the CEO of Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS) agreed to step down from his position next month following the collapse of the proposed merger with Office Depot (NASDAQ:ODP) collapsed.

According to Staples, its Board of Directors and Sargent reached a mutual agreement regarding his departure after its annual shareholders meeting on June 14. Sargent will continue to serve as a director and non-executive chairman until January 28, 2017.

Staples CEO Ron Sargent

In a statement, Staples Independent Director Robert E. Sulentic noted that Sargent “worked diligently on the acquisition of Office Depot, and Board appreciates his strong effort to gain government approval. He added, “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”

On the other hand, 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.”

Staples appoints Shira Goodman as interim CEO

Sargent served Staples for almost three decades. Sulentic said Staples achieve consistent growth and under Sargent’s leadership and he extended the company’s market leadership in the office products sector.

Shira Goodman, the president of the company’s North American Operations, will take over as interim CEO.

Sulentic said Goodman “has tremendous experience and a long track record of success at Staples, always bringing fresh perspective and change to every role she has had.”

“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,” said Goodman.

A Special Committee of the Board will lead the process to select a permanent CEO and it will consider internal and external candidates with the help of an executive search firm.

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