With its acquisition of rival Office Depot Inc. under legal scrutiny, Framingham-based Staples Inc. announced the resignation of a top member of its management team and a reshuffling of executives on Monday, citing new streamlining efforts.
Demos Parneros, who ran the company’s North American Stores and Online division and has worked for the company for 28 years, will leave the company by March 31 with severance benefits, the company said in a statement and Securities and Exchange Commission filing. Staples officials declined further comment.
Shira Goodman, currently president of Staples’ North American Commercial division, will become president of North American Operations. John Wilson, president of Staples Europe, will become president of International Operations and Transformation with responsibility for the company’s strategy and overall transformation efforts. He will continue to be based in Amsterdam.
Chief executive Ron Sargent said in an prepared statement that Staples is “streamlining the organization and building a simplified structure that will speed decision-making.”
“These changes will help us compete in a rapidly evolving marketplace, either as a standalone company or in combination with Office Depot,” he said.
Last week, Staples and Office Depot, the industries’ two leading office-supply chains, said they would extend their expiring merger agreement until May, demonstrating their desire to complete a merger that has been challenged by the Federal Trade Commission.
Last month, the FTC took steps to kill the merger, filing a lawsuit to block it as anticompetitive. Court proceedings are expected to begin in mid-to-late March.
Staples has faced competition from online retailers such as Amazon.com and its sales have declined. Sales for the third quarter were $5.6 billion, down 6 percent from the third quarter of 2014. Since 2011, the company’s annual sales have declined 9 percent, to $22.5 billion from $24.7 billion.
In his statement, Sargent thanked Parneros “for all he has done to help build Staples,” including developing the company’s leaders and associates.
“I will miss working with him as a valued colleague,” Sargent said.