Staples Replaces Board Chairman

    March 11, 2005

Staples 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, PETsMART, Polycom, and The NASDAQ Stock Market.

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