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Staples CEO's Compensation Falls In 2008

ASHLEY M. HEHER

CHICAGO (AP) ¿ As office supply retailer Staples Inc.'s profit fell in 2008, CEO Ronald L. Sargent's compensation fell 58 percent to $12.6 million, less than half of what he received the year before, according to Associated Press calculations based on a regulatory filing on Monday.

Sargent's salary was about $1.1 million in both 2008 and 2007, having risen just $3,225.

But his grants of restricted stock and options fell 60 percent between 2007 and 2008. The stock and options he got in 2008 were valued at $11 million on the days they were issued, down from $28.1 million worth of stock and options the previous year.

The 53-year-old, who is also chairman of the Framingham, Mass.-based retailer, didn't receive a performance-based cash bonus in 2008. His bonus was $621,000 the previous year.

Sargent received other perks valued at $483,963. That sum included almost $211,000 in dividend equivalents, $50,000 for tax services and $29,000 for life insurance. He received perks worth $471,292 in 2007.

For the fiscal year that ended Jan. 31, Staples' profit fell 19 percent to $805.3 million, or $1.13 per share. That's down from $995.7 million, or $1.38 per share. Sales increased to $23.08 billion from $19.37 billion, helped by the summer acquisition of Dutch office supply chain Corporate Express NV.

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