Take the money and run…

January 3, 2007

images.jpegEarlier today, Home Depot (HD) announced that the company and CEO Bob Nardelli "have mutually agreed" that Nardelli would leave the job yesterday. As the release noted, Nardelli, who has come under a fair amount of criticism here at footnoted, not to mention in the NY Times and in this letter sent by Relational Investors just before the holidays will receive a severance package worth $210 million, which the company said would include $20 million in severance.

But the actual agreement has yet to be filed and it will be interesting to see once it is, how closely Home Depot’s summary of the terms match what Nardelli will actually receive. For example, the release makes no note of office space or secretarial assistance or continued access to the corporate jet or the ubiquitous tax gross-up — all things likely to find their way into the final agreement. It’s unclear when that agreement will be filed, and it could be several months, since this whole thing seems to be have been done fairly quickly.

Indeed, one has to wonder what it was like over the holidays for Nardelli and Home Depot’s board. In the Dec. 18 filing, the company said it "will arrange a meeting shortly after the first of the year to discuss (Relational’s) concerns." Was the idea of that meeting so distasteful to Nardelli that he simply decided to take the money and run rather than have to deal with Relational?

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To kick off 2007, footnoted.org is launching a survey to get a better understanding of its readers and what they’re looking for in the New Year. It’s short and shouldn’t take more than five minutes. In exchange for filling out the survey, I’ll give 10 random respondents access to the next footnoted.org premium post (a $50 value). The survey is located in the upper right hand corner of the site. Thanks in advance.

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