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Home Depot Direct president resigns

The recent retooling of Home Depot’s executive suite that began with the departure of Chairman/CEO Bob Nardelli continued this week with the abrupt resignation of Harvey Seegers, president of Home Depot Direct.

A Home Depot representative confirmed yesterday that Mr. Seegers has left the company to pursue other opportunities and that Steve Skinner will lead Home Depot’s catalog and Internet business on an interim basis.

Perhaps more significantly, Mr. Skinner will be reporting to Craig Menear, senior vice president of merchandising, who was put in charge of all of Home Depot’s merchandising initiatives in October. Mr. Seegers had reported directly to Frank Blake, the company’s new chairman/CEO after Mr. Nardelli’s departure.

The move makes Home Depot Direct “more closely aligned with merchandising,” said Home Depot spokesman Ron DeFeo. “By integrating merchandising with Home Depot Direct, the company is trying to gain leverage across all of our consumer channels,” Mr. DeFeo said.

Mr. Nardelli’s departure grabbed the headlines after he walked away with a $210 million compensation package even as at least one shareholder and analysts had begun questioning Home Depot’s strategy of late

That strategy has included a significant investment in Home Depot Supply, a division focused on the building trade, in addition to efforts to build the company’s direct sales, which the company has said would reach $1 billion last year. Last May, the company acquired the Home Decorators catalog business, and then several months later announced it would cease publication of two standalone catalogs it had launched in the fall of 2005.

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