Staples is about to lose its CEO following Sycamore buyout

  • Staples' Chief Executive Officer Shira Goodman is departing the company, The Wall Street Journal reports.
  • Goodman began leading the office supply retailer in 2016, prior to private-equity firm Sycamore Partners acquiring Staples late last year.
Shira Goodman, chief executive at Staples, poses for a portrait in Framingham, MA on May 30, 2017.
Suzanne Kreiter | The Boston Globe | Getty Images
Shira Goodman, chief executive at Staples, poses for a portrait in Framingham, MA on May 30, 2017.

Staples' Chief Executive Officer Shira Goodman is departing the company, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday morning, based on conversations with sources familiar with the matter.

Goodman began leading the office supply retailer in 2016, shortly after Staples failed to merge with Office Depot. She previously had served as president of Staples' North American operations and has served in "various leadership roles" at Staples since 1992, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Private-equity firm Sycamore Partners acquired Staples for $6.9 billion late last year, adding to its retail holdings that include Talbots, Coldwater Creek, Hot Topic and Nine West. The goal for Sycamore was to turn the struggling retailer around, with a bigger focus on serving a corporate market.

Sycamore financed its acquisition of Staples in three parts. The arrangement allowed banks to finance the strongest parts of the business separately and give Sycamore the option to wind down its weakest unit — the retail business — at a later date.

Staples' business still has some bright spots and profitable segments, but its stores are increasingly threatened by the likes of Amazon and other retailers that sell less-expensive goods.

Meanwhile, Sycamore is in the midst of raising its biggest-ever fund, which it will use to invest primarily in retail, sources familiar with the situation have told CNBC.

Staples didn't immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment. Sycamore declined to comment.

Read the full report from The Wall Street Journal.

— CNBC's Lauren Hirsch contributed to this reporting.