Staples CEO to Step Down After Office Depot Deal Termination

RetailReuters

Office supplies retailer Staples Inc (NASDAQ:SPLS), which called off a deal to buy smaller rival Office Depot Inc (NASDAQ:ODP) this month, said Chief Executive Ron Sargent will step down after the company's annual meeting on June 14.

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The decision comes three weeks after a U.S. federal judge ordered to halt the deal because of antitrust concerns.

"With the termination of the merger, we mutually agreed that now is the right time to transition to a new management to lead Staples through its next phase of growth," independent lead director Robert E. Sulentic said.

The company announced several actions after scrapping the deal, including a $300 million cost-cutting plan and exploration of strategic alternatives for its European operations.

Shira Goodman, Staples President of North America Operations will become interim CEO, the company said, adding that a special committee of the board would identify a permanent replacement, with the support of an executive search firm.

Sargent, who has been the CEO since February 2002, will continue to serve as non-executive chairman through Staples' fiscal year ending Jan. 28, 2017 on re-election at its annual meeting, the company said.

(Reporting by Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru,; Editing by Don Sebastian)