Published On: Fri, Oct 23rd, 2015

Thomas Stemberg, Who Founded Staples Retail Chain, Dies at 66

STAPLES- Tom Stemberg  - passed away  23 oct 2015


Tom Stemberg passed away on Friday, October 23, 2015 after a long battle with gastric cancer.

Thomas “Tom” Stemberg, the co-founder and former CEO of office supply retail chain Staples Inc., passed away on October 23 after a long battle with gastric cancer. He was 66 years old.

Stemberg opened the first store in 1986 with backing from supermarket magnate Leo Kahn.

today the chain is the largest U.S. office-supply retailer with more then 2, 281 stores in 26 countries, with a revenue of nearly $30 billion and over 90, 000 employees. The EPA ranks Staples as one of the top 25 environmentally-friendly corporations, and the company is well-known for their philanthropic work. Leo Kahn passed away May 2014 at age 94.

Stemberg served as CEO until 2002 and chairman until 2005. That year he joined Highland Consumer Partners, a Wellesley, Massachusetts-based venture capital firm, where he was managing general partner. The firm focuses on the consumer industry.

Thomas George Stemberg was born on Jan. 18, 1949, in Newark, New Jersey, to Oscar Michael Stemberg and the former Erika Ratzer. His father was Jewish and his mother was Catholic, Austrian immigrants. After his father died when he was 13, he moved with his mother to her native Vienna, where he attended the American International School, according to Wikipedia.

In 1971 he graduated Harvard college. Two years later, he received an MBA from Harvard Business School.

In 2005, Stemberg joined Highland Capital Partners, a venture capital firm,  as managing general partner. The firm Investments included Pinkberry and Lululemon. He also founded Olly Shoes, a children’s footwear retailer, and Zoots, a dry cleaner.

Stemberg made headlines in 2012 as a speaker at the Republican National Convention. He was supporter of Mitt Romney, U.S. presidential candidate, who had been an early Staples investor while with Bain Capital.

Stemberg’s marriages to Maureen Sullivan and Dola Hamilton ended in divorce. In 2009, he married Katherine Chapman, who survives him. He survived by six sons: Rylan Hamilton, Darrell Williams, Thomas McDermott Stemberg, Clyde Stemberg and Michael Stemberg and William Stemberg, family told Bloomberg.



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