Thursday, January 11, 2007

Home Depot Shareholders Fight For $210 Severance Package

From the Associated Press
January 11, 2007

A group of Home Depot Inc. shareholders tried Wednesday to block the world's largest chain of home improvement stores from paying former Chief Executive Bob Nardelli any more of his $210-million severance package.

The request for a temporary restraining order was made by the shareholders as part of a previously filed lawsuit in Atlanta alleging that the company had overpaid senior executives and backdated stock options in violation of their fiduciary duties.

There was no immediate ruling on the request. Home Depot spokesman Jerry Shields said the Atlanta-based company had not received the motion and couldn't comment.

The company announced last week that Nardelli had resigned after six years at Home Depot's helm amid a furor over his pay and Home Depot's lagging stock price. He was replaced by Vice Chairman Frank Blake.

As part of the resignation, the company said Nardelli would receive a severance package worth about $210 million.

Some of the benefits have already been paid. Home Depot said Nardelli and the company had agreed on his departure.

In the restraining order request, the shareholder group said the company "will suffer additional irreparable harm if Nardelli is allowed to receive the full benefit" of the severance package.

The shareholders say that if the restraining order is not granted, a trust should be imposed to prevent Nardelli from using for his own benefit the money from the severance package until the lawsuit is resolved.

The lead plaintiff is the retirement fund for employees of the city of Pontiac, Mich., which holds Home Depot shares.

Pay without Performance: The Unfulfilled Promise of Executive Compensation


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