Staples Announces Leadership Shake-Up

As its mega-merger with Office Depot faces an uncertain future, Staples, parent company of Top 40 distributor Staples Promotional Products (asi/120601), reshaped its ranks with a senior management shake-up and reportedly laying off hundreds of employees.

The company announced yesterday that Demos Parneros, president of North American Stores and Online who has been with the company since 1987, announced his resignation effective March 31. Shira Goodman, current president of the company’s North American commercial operations (which includes its promotional products business) will become president of North American operations, adding oversight of the company’s online and retail business. Otis Pannell, senior vice president of U.S. retail operations, will oversee Staples’ retail business and report to Goodman.

“We are streamlining the organization and building a simplified structure that will speed decision-making and enable us to focus on driving profitable growth,” said Ron Sargent, chairman and CEO in a statement.

Added Sargent: “Over nearly 30 years, [Parneros] has played a significant role in making Staples the leader in our industry, touching countless people and developing many of our strongest leaders and associates. I will miss working with him as a valued colleague.”

In addition, President of Staples Europe John Wilson was named president, international operations and transformation.

Fortune reported that the company laid off hundreds of employees, including both senior and junior employees. A spokesperson for Staples declined to confirm or deny the layoffs with the publication.

Staples and Office Depot recently extended the deadline for their $6.3 billion merger to combat the Federal Trade Commission’s opposition of the office supply giants’ union. “These changes will help us compete in a rapidly evolving marketplace,” said Sargent, “either as a standalone company or in combination with Office Depot.”