- Staples has named Faisal Masud to the newly created role of chief technology officer, a job described as combining the responsibilities of a chief development officer and chief information officer.
- Masud joined Staples in May 2013 and has served as the office supplies retailer’s executive vice president of global e-commerce since his arrival.
- Masud is a seasoned e-commerce sector veteran, serving as vice president and general manager at Groupon before joining Staples. He previously held a variety of leadership roles at eBay and Amazon.
As CTO of Staples, Masud will be responsible for both e-commerce and global technology and will report directly to Staples President and CEO Shira Goodman. Since joining the company in mid-2013, he's directed the expansion of its omnichannel capabilities, including the Staples Rush same-day delivery service launched this past summer, as well as buy-online/pick-up in-store and shipping from Staples stores. Masud also led the rollout of the Staples Exchange platform, which lets vendors sell their own products through the retailer's e-commerce channels.
One of Masud’s most high-profile projects is still playing out: The development of the Staples Easy System, which employs IBM’s Watson artificial intelligence to bring on-demand ordering capabilities to the famous Staples Easy Button and other devices.
“Faisal has been a change agent for the company, helping grow Staples digital commerce, a key focus of our go-forward strategy," Goodman said in a statement. "Aligning our e-commerce and global technology organizations under one leader will speed execution so we can more rapidly bring digital solutions to market, and drive even greater innovation within the business, as we continue to enhance our B2B customer experience.”
Masud is also saying the right things, noting “As Staples evolves its technology infrastructure it’s critical for the organization to think digital and mobile first, and combining product management with technology will drive change from one consolidated CTO lens.”
Staples is going to need that kind of thinking. The company is still desperately trying to escape from a pattern of financial losses, and the collapse of its planned merger with Office Depot earlier this year. Staples is betting heavily on its technology efforts as it tries to do that, so Masud may very well have the future of this retailer’s livelihood in his hands.