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.

The Associated Press formula is designed to isolate the value the company's board placed on an executive's total compensation package during the fiscal year. It includes salary, bonus, performance-related bonuses, perks, above-market returns on deferred compensation and the estimated value of stock options and awards granted during the year. The calculations don't include changes in the present value of pension benefits, and they sometimes differ from the totals companies list in the summary compensation table of proxy statements filed with the SEC, which reflect the size of the accounting charge taken for the executive's compensation in the previous fiscal year.

Staples shares fell 45 cents, or 2.1 percent, Monday to close at $21.46.

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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