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Staples CEO Ron Sargent stepping down

Ron Sargent, former CEO of Staples
Janet Knott | The Boston Globe | Getty Images

Staples CEO Ron Sargent will step down after the annual shareholders meeting on June 14, the company announced Tuesday.

Shira Goodman, Staples' president of North America operations, will take over as interim CEO, the company said. Meanwhile, a special board committee will consider both internal and external candidates, with the support of an executive search firm.

Sargent's exit follows a high-profile failed merger with Office Depot.

"The entire board would like to thank Ron for his nearly three decades of dedicated service and leadership at Staples," said Robert Sulentic, independent lead director of the Staples board, in a statement, noting Sargent's work on the unsuccessful deal. "With the termination of the merger, we mutually agreed that now is the right time to transition to new management to lead Staples through its next phase of growth."

The proposed merger between Office Depot and Staples fell apart after a federal judge sided with the Federal Trade Commission. Judge Emmet Sullivan said the merger would have raised prices for customers and violated U.S. antitrust laws.

Goodman, who has worked at the company for 23 years, is responsible for Staples' online and retail operations across the United States and Canada, and was previously president of Staples North American Commercial.

"Shira has tremendous experience and a long track record of success at Staples, always bringing fresh perspective and change to every role she has had," Sulentic said, in a statement.

Shares of Staples traded near $8.80 Tuesday, up roughly 1 percent for the day. The stock is down more than 14.5 percent since the Office Depot merger was called off earlier in May.

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