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When Nardelli joined the company in December 2000, Home Depot shares were trading at .75.Without an ounce of retailing experience, Nardelli, 58, was named to the Home Depot post shortly after he lost a three-way race to the top job at General Electric Co. He leaves with a 0 million package that includes million in severance pay. Nardelli was unavailable to comment and the company did not return calls.Though those moves raised many flags, it was Nardelli's rich compensation package, estimated at some 5 million, that sent shareholders and corporate governance groups into a tizzy. Like trying to douse a fire with kerosene, Nardelli exacerbated the issues by displaying an incorrigibly brash sense of entitlement during a 20-minute shareholder meeting in May.At his direction, no other board members attended and he led the meeting with what shareholders described then as a "stony-faced," "robot-like manner," reading from a script and curtailing shareholder participation.And there appeared to be a number of thoughtful and touchy differences in how to mold the maturing company to generate and then maintain revenue and profit increases in the double digits while holding onto market share.Tom Taylor's resignation as head of merchandising and marketing "to pursue other opportunities" in July was followed by other top executives departing and a management restructuring at the top in October."He made several mistakes that were significant errors early on. "It appeared to me that there was a lot of unnecessary kingdom-building going on," she said.And as time passed, many believed Nardelli was out to show Welch that he made the wrong decision in choosing Jeffrey Immelt as his successor at GE. Among Nardelli's errors at the onset was his "clumsy" attempt to cut store labor costs, since reversed, by changing staffing ratios from 60% full-time to part-time to a 50% split.
That's the assessment from a number of analysts, mutual fund managers and industry observers who mostly cheered Nardelli's "mutually agreed" to resignation Wednesday from Home Depot, the home-improvement behemoth whose revenues doubled under his regime.
But it was a sharp and steep learning curve for an industrials-sector guy in a consumer-driven field and the course was not without its gaffes, some of them major.
In the process, he alienated a number of stakeholders, most notably shareholders, by what has been described as an arrogant and autocratic approach.
The market, long miffed by the lackluster performance of the shares, might not be in total agreement.
Shares of Home Depot , a Dow industrials component, climbed better than 4% at the open Wednesday on the news, but fell to roughly half that to close at .07.