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News Release

Staples Hires Paul J. Gaffney as Chief Information Officer; Brian T. Light named Executive Vice President
FRAMINGHAM, Mass., Nov 8, 2001 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Staples, Inc., (Nasdaq:SPLS) has hired Paul J. Gaffney, a former Office Depot executive who created that company's e-commerce site, as the chief information officer at Staples, President Ronald L. Sargent announced today. Gaffney, who starts Jan. 7, will report to Chief Administrative Officer John J. Mahoney.

Brian T. Light, current Staples executive vice president and chief information officer, will become executive vice president at, the company's combined e-commerce and catalog operation. He will report to Jeanne B. Lewis, president of

"We announced recently that we would strengthen the Staples management team both by bringing in excellent talent from the outside as well as giving our proven stars the chance to grow and gain new skills," said Sargent, who will become Staples Chief Executive Officer Feb. 3, 2002. "The hiring of Paul Gaffney and promotion of Brian Light to an operating role at are examples of this strategy.

"In Paul Gaffney, we will have a chief information officer with a track record of excellence in applying technology to build new business opportunities," Sargent said. "In Brian Light, we have a leader who has built one of the finest organizations in the retail systems world. Brian will now be able to bring his leadership and business skills to the fastest growing division at Staples."

About Paul Gaffney

Gaffney currently is senior vice president of Schwab Technology, the technology enterprise of Charles Schwab & Co., where he has led overall technology strategy, including efforts to build the next generation, the world's largest financial services e-business. Mr. Gaffney also delivered StreetSmartPro, Schwab's new active trader software. He also held a variety of senior management positions at Office Depot from 1995 through 1999, including executive vice president. Gaffney created Office Depot's online business, managing more than 2,000 employees and driving the office supplies company's direct marketing division to increased profit margins and double-digit sales growth. Office Depot was named the No. 1 e-business in the world for 1999 by Computerworld magazine.

Gaffney also was chief executive officer at Website Pros and has held executive positions at Kmart Corp., Uniquest and Computer Sciences Corp. At Kmart, Gaffney developed technology systems to help revitalize the core retail business and modernize the company's technical infrastructure.

He is a native of Dartmouth, Mass., and a graduate of Dartmouth High School and Harvard College. Gaffney has completed work in the Harvard Business School's executive education programs in both The Exploding Internet and Strategic Retail Management.

About Brian Light

Light, who has been with Staples since February 1998, led the launch and ongoing development of and, the company's business-to-business web site. He also has made Staples an industry leader in using Web technology to improve internal operations.

Light has been widely recognized for his ability to align technology plans with business strategy. CIO magazine has named Light to the CIO 100 each year he has been with Staples, and ComputerWorld selected him a Premier 100 IT leader. RIS News named Staples the top IS organization in Retail last year. Staples, under Light's leadership, has become a pioneer in the integration of technology across business units, including the integration of Staples stores with through in-store internet access points.

Light was formerly with Andersen Consulting (now Accenture), where he specialized in the food and packaged goods area and led strategic evaluations of information systems operations for Fortune 500 companies. He is a graduate of the University of California at Irvine.

About Staples

Staples Inc. is an $11 billion retailer of office supplies, furniture, technology and business services to consumers and businesses from home-based businesses to Fortune 500 companies in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands and Portugal. Headquartered outside Boston, Staples invented the office superstore concept and today is the largest operator of office superstores in the world. The company has over 50,000 employees serving customers through more than 1,300 office superstores, mail order catalogs, e-commerce and a contract business. More information about the company 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 various important factors including risks related to Staples' ability to compete in its highly competitive market, Staples' ability to continue to successfully open new stores, Staples' quarterly operating results being subject to significant fluctuation, Staples' stock price fluctuating based on the expectations of professional securities analysts, the strain on operations due to Staples' rapid growth which can affect operating results, the ability of Staples' foreign operations and to become profitable and the ability of Staples to obtain adequate future financing. Additional information concerning these factors is contained in Staples' Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q dated September 17, 2001, which is on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Staples Inc.
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