“The most important item on my desk is a picture of my husband and three kids making kooky faces at my niece’s wedding. We all look silly and happy.” ~ Shira Goodman, CEO of Staples
Summary: Shira Goodman is the Cheif Executive Officer of Staples. A 55-year-old Newton resident, Goodman was the interim chief executive at the time. But Staples’ board wanted to cast a wide net for Sargent’s successor and hired an executive search firm to consider outside candidates as well. Bob Sulentic, Staples’ lead independent director and the chief executive of real estate firm CBRE, said the leadership qualities that Goodman displayed as interim chief executive played a role in the board’s decision to make her promotion more permanent. He also cited Goodman’s long history in the industry and her thorough understanding of the company’s customers and its operations. She has a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University, a master’s degree with a concentration in strategy and marketing from MIT’s Sloan School of Management, and a JD from Harvard Law School. Goodman joined Staples in 1992. In September 2016, she succeeded Ron Sargent as CEO. She is married to Rabbi Wesley Gardenswartz, and they have three children.
Q: What is your history at Staples? on bostonmagazine.com
A: I was first hired at Staples in 1992, by company founder Tom Stemberg and eventual CEO Ron Sargent, to be the first director of marketing and merchandising for the catalog business. At the time, it was a small, $30 million business unit, isolated on the fifth floor of our building. It was nearly impossible to get anyone’s attention. We used to joke that we were the tail of the dog and our goal was just to be the back half of the dog. Well, over the past 24 years, the delivery business has grown to be the head of the dog and our primary growth arm today.