Retail

Staples CEO Steps Down After Failed Office Depot Merger

Staples Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLS) made waves Wednesday morning, after Ron Sargent announced that he will step down from his position of chief executive officer. This departure comes in the wake of the company’s failed merger with Office Depot Inc. (NASDAQ: ODP), although that was a regulatory decision. This transition in management is expected to take place after the company’s annual shareholders meeting on June 14.

Keep in mind that this is just one CEO on our list of CEOs who have to go in 2016.

Upon reelection 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.

In terms of the succession plan, there is no current permanent candidate, but Shira Goodman, Staples President of North America Operations, will serve as the interim CEO.

Goodman was president of Staples North American Commercial from February 2014, where she was responsible for Staples Business Advantage, which serves medium-sized to Fortune 1000 businesses, and Quill.com, which serves small to medium-sized businesses. Additionally, she was head of the company’s supply chain and customer service operations in North America. Goodman has logged a grand total 23 years with Staples and has worked in a variety of roles within the company.

Robert E. Sulentic, independent lead director of the Staples board of directors, commented:

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.

Shares of Staples were trading down 1.4% at $8.68 on Wednesday morning, with a consensus analyst price target of $9.64 and a 52-week trading range of $8.00 to $16.74.

Office Depot was down 0.8% at $3.55 a share. The consensus price target is $5.42, and the 52-week range is $3.18 to $9.35.

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