Home Depot: A Fixer-Upper?

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By now, you probably have heard the news that the head of Home Depot, Bob Nardelli, is leaving the company. "Since he became chief executive... Home Depot's stock price has languished and the company has lost market share to its chief rival, Lowe's," the New York Times reports in today's edition.

Among other reasons for Nardelli's departure, pundits observe that his compensation was elephantine even by Corporate America's current standards. His golden parachute is reportedly in excess of $200 million. Nardelli's performance at an annual meeting last spring was considered rude, and some people say that his management style was autocratic and that he didn't do a good enough job of keeping board members happy. On the brighter side, the company was consistently profitable during his tenure.

Nardelli, who came to Home Depot from GE back in 2000 (when he didn't get the nod to replace Jack Welch), was the first chief executive from outside the company. Home Depot founders Arthur Blank and Bernie Marcus were certainly tough acts to follow; Marcus received the first ever Goldhirsh award for entrepreneurial excellence from Inc. magazine last March.

Do you think Nardelli got a fair shake? Do you see the Home Depot losing ground to Lowe's? And as the company moves forward under new leadership, what do you think its main priorities ought to be?

Last updated: Jan 4, 2007




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