Yesterday’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Home Depot “officially unveiled its new chairman and chief executive to the local corporate community Wednesday (March 14, 2007) at a Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce breakfast briefing.”
As with Frank Blake’s first encounters, as CEO, with employees, investors and shoppers, he apparently hit another one out of the ballpark. According to reporter Patti Bond, Blake will move the Home Depot annual meeting back to Atlanta after last year’s disaster in Wilmington, Del., “where (former chairman Bob) Nardelli was the only director to show and then refused to take questions.”
As one who has attended previous Home Depot annual meetings in Atlanta, I can tell you that the style of founders Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank was to be open, friendly and interested in the comments and opinions of shareholders. And their meetings went on for quite some time, giving everyone who so desired a chance to have a say.
Bond also reported that Blake told Atlanta business leaders he would expend considerable effort on Atlanta civic and charitable activities, something his predecessor did not do.
One of the most telling quotes from Blake was this one: “I work for the associates. Home Depot is not about the CEO.” And, describing a recent store tour he took with founder Marcus in Florida, Blake said that it was “like walking with God.”
From all accounts, it seems that the old Home Depot is back in business.
And, speaking of home improvement stores, Lowe’s ran a pretty funny ad this afternoon in the first round of the NCAA basketball tournament. (Unfortunately, Georgia Tech lost.)