Staples is heading to a stronger focus on its North American e-commerce business, with a CEO who once headed it as a divisional president.

The Staples board today announced that Shira Goodman, a former president of its North American Commercial unit who was named interim CEO in June, is now president, CEO and a member of the board.

“After a comprehensive search process that included the evaluation of several qualified candidates for the position of chief executive officer, the board has approved Shira’s appointment,” independent lead director Robert Sulentic said in a prepared statement. “This decision was not only based on her long tenure and deep understanding of our industry, but also on the leadership qualities she has demonstrated while serving as interim chief executive officer. Having joined Staples in 1992, Shira has a thorough understanding of our customers and operations which she combines with the outside-in thinking critical to competing in today’s marketplace.”

Goodman, in a conference call with stock analysts in August after the company reported a 3.7% drop in total second quarter sales, said the company would be focusing more on its North American sales, “with well over half of our sales generated online through our private and public websites.” Staples sells online to businesses of 10 or more employees through its North American Commercial, or NAC, sites and; to companies through specially branded websites, and to small firms and individual consumers through Staples Advantage is No. 21 in the B2B E-Commerce 300.

Some of NAC’s sales are handled offline through sales reps and contact centers, but a big majority of them, about 80%, are processed online, the company says.


Compared to the 3.7% drop in total Q2 sales to $4.752 billion from $4.937 billion for the second quarter ended July 30, Staples said sales through its NAC sites and dipped less than 1% to $2.044 billion from $2.045 billion, as NAC’s net income increased 5.8% to $146 million from $138 million.

“I am both honored and excited to become the chief executive officer of Staples,” Goodman said today. “I am committed to executing our Staples 20/20 strategy which is focused on accelerating growth with mid-market customers in North America and building on our momentum with products and services beyond office supplies.” Goodman has said that Staples is considering “strategic alternatives” for its European business to better focus on North America.

In addition to her former position as president of North American Commercial, Goodman has also served in several leadership roles, including president, North American Operations, executive vice president, global growth; executive vice president, human resources; and executive vice president, marketing.

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