Frank Blake has just marked his first year as CEO of Atlanta-based Home Depot, and the Atlanta Journal Constitution noted the milestone this morning with a look at the new guy’s accomplishments during a difficult year for any company connected to the slumping national housing industry.
Noted by reporter Scott Thurston:
“Blake’s biggest strategic move: Reversing Home Depot’s dramatic expansion into wholesale supply.” Blake closed the unit along with standalone landscape and flooring stores. His focus — Home Depot basics.
Contrasted with his extravagantly paid predecessor Bob Nardelli (The boss who snubbed shareholders and the city of Atlanta held a $30 million pay package), “Blake came across as a quiet ‘regular guy.’ His base salary is less than half of Nardelli’s. He told employees he wanted to foster an inverted pyramid corporate culture, with customers and workers on top and ‘me as CEO at the bottom.’ ”
Even though Home Depot’s share price has tumbled since Blake took over, he has, Thurston wrote, “had some success in steadying the company after Bob Nardelli’s rocky six-year ride at the helm.”
Perhaps, with Blake in the top job, Home Depot will reap housing dollars once the market rebounds. It sounds as if he has done a fine job of preparing the company for good times sure to come when the economy recovers.