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Staples chief executive won’t take pay increase; board changes


New York -- Staples chairman and CEO Ron Sargent will not accept a $31,000 base pay raise the board of directors had previously approved as the chain comes off a not-so-great year.

The company announced that Sargent would not accept the 2.5% pay increase, along with several noteworthy governance moves, including the appointment of an independent chair when Sargent retires.

In other board moves, current director and former Toys “R” Us CEO Robert Nakasone is relinquishing his seat to make room for a Google executive.

Staples said Google VP of sales and operations, Paul-Henri Ferrand, was nominated by the company’s board to stand for election at the 2015 annual meeting. In addition, Nakasone, the company’s lead independent director will retire at the meeting.

"We're pleased to nominate Paul-Henri Ferrand to our board of directors," said Vijay Vishwanath, chair of the nominating and corporate governance committee. "Paul-Henri is a strong strategic fit given his deep background in e-commerce and technology at large, global organizations. His extensive business-to-business experience will be extremely valuable as we continue to focus on our delivery businesses as a key growth engine of Staples."

Prior to joining Google, Ferrand was president of Dell North America, where he led Dell's business-to-business and consumer segments with revenue of $24 billion. Prior to joining Dell in 2004, he held senior management positions at Nokia, Alcatel-Lucent and AT&T.

"Bob Nakasone has been a strong leader and has made significant contributions to Staples over many years," Sargent said. "His deep knowledge and experience have been invaluable since the earliest days of our company, and we thank him for his dedicated service to Staples."

The board intends for Robert E. Sulentic to serve as lead independent director, upon Nakasone's retirement.

Sulentic is CEO of CBRE Inc., and has served on the Staples board since 2007 and currently chairs the audit committee.

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