Right after Home Depot chief Bob Nardelli made his well-financed exit from Home Depot earlier this month, a columnist for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote that the new chief, Frank Blake, called Home Depot co-founder Arthur Blank almost immediately after the shake-up to say he wanted to have lunch with Blank — something go-it-alone Nardelli never did.
That same columnist, Maria Saporta, in today’s Atlanta paper, reports that the two had that lunch. According to Saporta, “Blake told the founder that he wanted to go back and rebuild the unique culture that Blank and fellow co-founder Bernie Marcus had established for 23 years” before they both retired and moved onto other ventures.
Here’s something else Blank told Saporta about Blake: “His biggest concern was that he may call me too much. But that’s not possible. Home Depot is my seventh child.”
That, of course, was the second piece of positive Home Depot news today. The other was that the board of directors has whittled down the top guy’s pay and nixxed a giant severance package for him like the $210-million good-bye gift Nardelli received.
It sounds as if Atlanta’s homegrown hardware store may be hitting the nail on the head this time.