Managing General Partner of the Highland Consumer Fund at Highland Capital Partners, a venture capital firm. From 2005 to 2007, he acted as the Venture Partner of Highland Capital Partners. Mr. Stemberg is the founder and Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Staples, Inc., an office supply superstore retailer. He pioneered the office superstore industry and was chief executive officer of Staples from 1986 to 2002. From 2002 to 2004, Mr. Stemberg served as an executive officer at Staples with the title of Chairman. Mr. Stemberg is a director of PetSmart, Inc., lululemon athletica inc. and Guitar Center, Inc.
Tom is a Managing General Partner of the Highland Consumer Fund and focuses on retail and consumer services companies. He is also interested in ways technology can be applied to further impact existing businesses. Tom brings to bear his deep understanding of entrepreneurs, new markets, and product innovation in assisting portfolio companies in building successful and enduring companies.
Prior to joining Highland, Tom founded Staples and served as CEO for sixteen years and Chairman for three additional years. Tom pioneered the office superstore industry when he wrote the business plans for Staples in 1986. Tom propelled Staples’ business growth through store expansion programs, a delivered office products business, growing international presence, and award-winning e-commerce operations ultimately creating a $19 billion company. Tom also founded Olly Shoes, a leading children's shoe retailer. Tom currently serves on the boards of CarMax, Inc. (NYSE: KMX), City Sports, DAVIDsTEA, Guitar Center, J.McLaughlin, lululemon athletica (Nasdaq: LULU), PETsMART, Inc. (Nasdaq: PETM), Pharmaca and StriVectin.
Harvard University, A.B., Physical Science, 1971
Harvard Business School, M.B.A.
Mr. Stemberg’s marriages to Maureen Sullivan and Dola Hamilton ended in divorce. Acrimony over his divorce from Sullivan spilled over into his business dealings when he accused her in a 1997 lawsuit of trying to sabotage a proposed merger between Staples and Office Depot. Romney was called in to testify in that case.
In 2009, Mr. Stemberg married Katherine Chapman. In addition to his wife, he leaves six sons, Rylan Hamilton, Darrell Williams, Thomas McDermott Stemberg, William Stemberg, Clyde Stemberg, and Michael Stemberg; three stepdaughters, Madison Eisler, Meghan O’Gara, and MacKenzie O’Gara; and three grandchildren.