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Staples Board Of Directors Elects Ron Sargent Chairman Of The Board; Sargent Succeeds Industry Pioneer and Staples Founder Tom Stemberg

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 11, 2005--Staples, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLS) announced that President and Chief Executive Officer Ron Sargent, 49, has been elected chairman of the company's board of directors. Sargent, who was named CEO in February 2002, succeeds Tom Stemberg, who has resigned from the board and will now become Chairman Emeritus of the company. Independent director Martin Trust continues his role as the lead director of the Staples board.

"In the past three years, Ron Sargent has stepped up to lead Staples to record performance," said Tom Stemberg. "Under Ron's leadership the company has delivered outstanding results for our customers, associates and shareholders. As I look to new ventures, the time is right for me to move on and for Ron to assume the role of chairman."

"Tom is an industry icon who had the extraordinary vision to found Staples in 1986 and create the office products retailing industry," said Ron Sargent. "Tom is a great mentor to me and many people throughout the Staples organization. We will continue to embrace his vision and his legacy as we make Staples the world's best office products company."

"Staples management team is the best in retail," added Stemberg. "A founder's greatest legacy is to leave a company as a market leader that is positioned for continued growth, and that is certainly the case with Staples."

Stemberg recently joined Highland Capital Partners, a leading venture capital firm as a venture partner. In his new role with Highland, Stemberg will help identify new entrepreneurial investment opportunities and lend his expertise to assist Highland portfolio companies. He serves on the board of directors of CarMax, Inc. (NYSE: KMX), PETsMART, Inc. (Nasdaq: PETM), Polycom, Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCM) and The NASDAQ Stock Market, Inc.

About Staples

Staples, Inc. invented the office superstore concept in 1986 and today is the world's largest office products company. With 65,000 talented associates, the company is committed to making it easy to buy a wide range of office products, including supplies, technology, furniture, and business services. With 2004 sales of $14.4 billion, Staples serves consumers and businesses ranging from home-based businesses to Fortune 500 companies in 21 countries throughout North and South America, Europe and Asia. Headquartered outside of Boston, Staples operates approximately 1,680 office superstores and also serves its customers through mail order catalog, e-commerce and contract businesses. More information is available at

Certain information contained in this news release constitutes forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to: our market is highly competitive and we may not continue to compete successfully; we may be unable to continue to open new stores and enter new markets successfully; our growth may continue to strain operations, which could adversely affect our business and financial results; our operating results may be impacted by changes in the economy; our stock price may fluctuate based on market expectations; our quarterly operating results are subject to significant fluctuation and are impacted by the extent to which sales in new stores result in the loss of sales in existing stores, the mix of products sold, pricing actions of competitors, the level of advertising and promotional expenses and seasonality; our expanding international operations expose us to the unique risks inherent in foreign operations; our debt level and operating lease commitments could impact our ability to obtain future financing and continue our growth strategy; a California wage and hour class action lawsuit; and those other factors discussed in our annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended January 29, 2005, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and any subsequent periodic reports filed by us with the SEC. In addition, any forward-looking statements represent our estimates only as of today and should not be relied upon as representing our estimates as of any subsequent date. While we may elect to update forward-looking statements at some point in the future, we specifically disclaim any obligation to do so, even if our estimates change.

CONTACT: Staples, Inc.
Paul Capelli, 508-253-8530

SOURCE: Staples, Inc.