TEXT OF STORYLISA NAPOLI: This year’s annual meeting of Home Depot shareholders isn’t likely to be as strange as last year’s. Back then, the board didn’t show up and then-CEO Robert Nardelli didn’t take questions. The whole thing lasted 37 minutes. Now, Nardelli’s out and first quarter profits have plummeted 30 percent. Ashley Milne-Tyte looks at how things will be different when shareholders convene in just a few hours.
ASHLEY MILNE-TYTE: At last year’s meeting, Home Depot hired security guards to enforce time limits for speakers.
RICHARD FERLAUTO: They were big, burly people dressed up in orange aprons, who stood up and made sure you sat down.
Richard Ferlauto directs pension investment policy at the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. He’ll be at today’s meeting. He wants shareholders to vote annually on CEO pay and the company to refocus on customer service.
But retail consultant Howard Davidowitz doesn’t think new CEO Frank Blake can deliver.
HOWARD DAVIDOWITZ: He has no background in retail. When you hire a fixer, you wanna hire a fixer who’s done it before.
Davidowitz says Blake needs to reverse the company’s fortunes, otherwise attendees will look back on today’s meeting as style over substance.
In New York, I’m Ashley Milne-Tyte for Marketplace.
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