Staples, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLS) reached a deal to with Starboard Value LP. The deal nominates Kunal Kamlani to the board of Staples. The move was chastised by another director of the retail company.
Mr. Kamlani has served as President and COO of Prestige Cruise Holdings from 2011 to 2014. Between 2010 and 2011 he served as the head of the Global Investment Solutions division of Bank of America.
Mr. Kamlani was nominated director as a result of an agreement between Starboard and Staples. He met with the Staples’ Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee. The committee recommended that the board nominate him for election.
Justin King, a director at Staples, sent a mail to his fellow board member Robert Sulentic. In the mail, Mr. King has revealed his intention to not stand for re-election as a protest against the deal with Starboard. He also stated that Mr. Kamlani did not bring anything new to the table and hence might not be considered an independent director.
Mr. King further added that Starboards’s acquisition of Staples stocks is not aligned with the interests of the majority of the shareholders. He pointed to Starboard’s shareholding of Office Depot Inc (NASDAQ:ODP) to prove his point.
Mr. Kamlani has stated that he had done his research on Staples before joining its board. He also added that the board was also thorough with his nomination. He added that he had an extensive interview with all the governance committee.
Ron Sargent, Staples’ chairman and CEO extended an invitation to Kamlani and expressed his wishes to Justin King. Jeff Smith, the CEO of Starboard stated that his company was appreciative of the positive relationship between his company and Staples, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLS). He also expressed his belief that Kamlani’s skill and experience would help the Board.
This year, Staples faces a long checklist as it awaits the approval of a $6.3 billion takeover of Office Depot.