Nardelli Resigns as CEO of Home Depot

Atlanta, Robert Nardelli resigned Wednesday as chairman, president and chief executive of The Home Depot Inc. The retailer named Frank Blake, vice chairman of the board of directors, to succeed Nardelli, effective immediately. Shares of Home Depot were up 4% in pre-market trading Wednesday.

The company said the board and Nardelli “mutually agreed” on his resignation.

“We are very grateful to Bob for his strong leadership of The Home Depot over the past six years,” the company said in a statement. “Under Bob’s tenure, the company made significant and necessary investments that greatly improved the company’s infrastructure and operations, expanded our markets to include wholesale distribution and new geographies, and undertook key strategic initiatives to strengthen the company’s foundation for the future.”

The resignation follows a stormy period for Nardelli, who has been under fire by shareholders for his hefty pay package, which they claimed was not in line with the company’s performance. Last month, activist Home Depot shareholder Relational Investors LLC said it wanted the retailer to establish a special committee to review the company’s strategic direction, management performance and to explore possible alternatives, including a sale of the company. Home Depot rejected the proposals and said its board had recently completed a strategic review and unanimously supported the company’s management.

According to the terms of the separation agreement, Nardelli is entitled to receive approximately $210 million, including amounts which have previously been earned or vested, complying with the terms of the employment contract entered into in 2000.

Additionally, he is entitled to the payment of account balances under the company’s 401(k) plan and other benefit programs current valued at a total of approximately $96 million.

Nardelli has also agreed not to compete with the company for one year, and not to solicit employees or customers of the company for four years.

In other moves, the company announced that Carol Tome, executive VP and CFO, and Joe DeAngelo, executive VP of HD Supply, are taking on additional responsibilities.

Tome will take on responsibility for mergers and acquisitions, credit services and additional strategic duties. DeAngelo was appointed to the newly created position of COO.

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