Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg

Staples Shakes Up Management, May Go Without Office Depot

Updated on
  • U.S. antitrust body had tried to block possible merger
  • Some senior Staples employees have left company, Fortune says

Staples Inc. shook up its management ranks and vowed to make the company more efficient, saying it may need to compete without its proposed Office Depot Inc. merger, a beleaguered deal that hasn’t won antitrust approval.

Demos Parneros, Staples’ president of North American stores and its online business, will step down by March 31, the company said in a statement on Monday. Shira Goodman, who has been at Staples since 1992, will take over North American operations. John Wilson, who is currently president of Staples’ European division, will run international operations.

“These changes will help us compete in a rapidly evolving marketplace, either as a stand-alone company or in combination with Office Depot,” Ron Sargent, chairman and chief executive officer, said in the statement.

Staples and Office Depot are struggling to persuade regulators to approve their merger, which would leave the U.S. with just one major office-supply chain. The Federal Trade Commission sued to block the transaction in December, saying a merger would squelch competition and raise prices for customers. Staples previously tried to buy Office Depot in the 1990s and was thwarted by the FTC.

The changes on Monday are part of a push to make Staples “a more efficient, focused organization” while the company is “streamlining” the organization, according to the statement.

Some senior employees at Staples have left the company, Fortune’s Dan Primack reported in postings on Twitter. Kirk Saville, a spokesman for the Framingham, Massachusetts-based company, declined to comment beyond Monday’s statement.

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