Thursday, May 25, 2006

The Harvard Business Review and Home Depot

The Harvard Business Review recently published a worshipful profile of Robert Nardelli and his brilliant work at refactoring Home Depot. Now the New York Times has a slightly different story:
With Links to Board, Chief Saw His Pay Soar - New York Times

... The discussion inevitably turns to the changes at Home Depot under its chief executive, Robert L. Nardelli. A growing source of resentment among some is Mr. Nardelli's pay package. The Home Depot board has awarded him $245 million in his five years there. Yet during that time, the company's stock has slid 12 percent while shares of its archrival, Lowe's, have climbed 173 percent.Why would a company award a chief executive that much money at a time when the company's shareholders are arguably faring far less well? Some of the former Home Depot managers think they know the reason, and compensation experts and shareholder advocates agree: the clubbiness of the six-member committee of the company's board that recommends Mr. Nardelli's pay. Two of those members have ties to Mr. Nardelli's former employer, General Electric. One used Mr. Nardelli's lawyer in negotiating his own salary. And three either sat on other boards with Home Depot's influential lead director, Kenneth G. Langone, or were former executives at companies with significant business relationships with Mr. Langone.
I was impressed with HBR when I started reading it, but after a year I've seen a common pattern. A few good articles amidst a pile of Pravda style ego inflating propaganda. I won't be renewing.

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