Staples CEO steps down

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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The tenure of J. Alexander (Sandy) Douglas as chief executive of office supply retail giant Staples is coming to an end.

Staples said that Douglas will resign as CEO effective Friday, June 18. He will be succeeded on an interim basis by executive chairman John A. Lederer.  Staples, which is owned by Sycamore Partners, said it has begun a search for a permanent chief executive officer.

Staples offered no reasons for Douglas' departure other than to say it was my mutual agreement. But the move comes two weeks after its company USR Parent Inc. offered to buy the consumer business of Office Depot parent company ODP Corp. — including its approximately 1,100 Office Depot and OfficeMax stores and websites  —  for $1 billion. The bid is the third attempt by Staples to buy its rival.

Douglas joined Staples as CEO in April 2018, following a 20-year executive career at The Coca-Cola Company. Lederer has served as executive chairman of the board of Staples since 2017 and as a senior advisor at Sycamore Partners since 2017.

"On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Sandy for his commitment and dedication to the company," Lederer said. "I look forward to working closely with CFO Jeff Hall and the rest of the senior management team to oversee the day-to-day operations of the company and execute on our growth strategy as the economic recovery in North America gains momentum. As we look ahead, we remain sharply focused on delivering strong performance and the critical products and services required for America's successful return to work."