Staples names a new head of North American e-commerce

January 26, 2016 02:52 PM

Staples Inc. has promoted a 24-year company veteran to head up its e-commerce efforts in North America ahead of the proposed merger with rival Office Depot.

The office supplies retail giant, No. 4 in the Internet Retailer 2015 Top 500 Guide, named Shira Goodman president, North American operations. Her responsibilities will include e-commerce. She joined Staples in 1992 and has held high-profile positions with the company, including president of the North American commercial division, executive vice president of global growth and executive vice president of human resources. Senior vice president of U.S. retail operations Otis Pannell reports to Goodman.

Demos Parneros resigned as president of North American stores and online and will leave Staples at the end of March, the company says. Parneros had led the company’s online retail efforts in North America since January 2013. During his tenure, Staples’ online sales grew 8% year over year, to an Internet Retailer-estimated $11.232 billion in 2014 from $10.4 billion in 2013.

Goodman wasn’t the only executive to receive a promotion. John Wilson was promoted to president of international operations from president of Staples Europe. Amid the executive changes, Staples has laid off employees, though it did not specify the number affected, saying only, “We are streamlining the organization and building a simplified structure that will speed decision-making and enable us to focus on driving profitable growth. These changes will help us compete in a rapidly evolving marketplace, either as a standalone company or in combination with Office Depot. If the acquisition of Office Depot closes, these changes will enable us to immediately begin integrating the two companies.”

Last month, the Federal Trade Commission filed litigation alleging that the proposed merger between Staples and Office Depot was in violation of antitrust laws. To help buy time for the merger on its end, Staples and Office Depot agreed last week to extend the merger agreement termination date by three and a half months to May 16.

The personnel changes come on the heels of a disappointing third quarter online for Staples. The retailer reported online sales dropped 2% during the third quarter ended Oct. 31, though the company did not break out a dollar figure.




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