Staples CEO Steps Down as Office Depot Merger Remains in Limbo
Effective today, Staples CEO Sandy Douglas has stepped down from his position, and will be temporarily replaced by chairman John Lederer.
According to Bloomberg, Staples and Douglas mutually agreed to part ways, and Staples did not provide any further details about why the split occurred.
It comes at a time, however, where Staples is once again chasing an acquisition of Office Depot and OfficeMax. That development isn’t completely dead, but Office Depot has refused Staples’ most recent advances. Currently, Office Depot’s board is reportedly reviewing an offer worth $1 billion for part of the business. It’s still up in the air whether that acquisition would include Office Depot’s business-to-business assets.
Staples, which is in the process of bidding for the consumer business of ODP, said CEO Sandy Douglas will step down and be replaced on an interim basis by Chairman John Lederer https://t.co/2oNwgxv7sR
— Bloomberg (@business) June 17, 2021
Staples has had a bumpy ride over the last few years. Sycamore Partners, the company's private equity owner, was reportedly looking to sell off Staples in 2019. In January 2018, Staples parted ways with then-CEO Shira Goodman after one of the original failed mergers with Office Depot. Goodman had been at the company for 26 years.
This points to another string of hires for the CEO position contingent on the Office Depot merger coming to fruition. Whomever Sycamore places in charge of Staples has a pretty clear marching orders: Finish this deal.
Right now, it’s likely more possible than ever, thanks to Amazon’s explosive growth in the office supply market, which could potentially alleviate monopoly concerns for regulators.
But, since this is still dragging out without a clear end in sight, it’s easier to do in theory than in practice, and Staples’ next CEO has a challenge in front of them.