NICK ARROYO / AJC FILE
Home Depot executives Arthur Blank, President, and Bernard Marcus, Chairman and CEO, visit one of their metro Atlanta stores in April 1987. "When you look at what Arthur and I have accomplished, today over 300,000 people are working at the Home Depot," Marcus told the AJC in 2009. "We probably lowered costs to homeowners by about 25 to 30 percent. We had more of an impact on the economy than any Congress since."
New York Stock Exchange Chairman Richard Grasso, third from left front, Home Depot Chairman Bernie Marcus, left center, Home Depot CEO and President Arthur Blank, center, and Co-Founder Ken Langone, right center, applaud after ringing the opening bell at the NYSE Monday, July 10, 2000, celebrating Home Depot's 1000th store.
"I would say for a period of about four to five years, we lost our way through the... CEO," Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus told the AJC in 2009. Marcus was referring to the December 2000-January 2007 reign of Bob Nardelli (above) as chief executive. Recruited from General Electric, Nardelli was the first CEO brought in from outside. Nardelli, hired to give Home Depot discipline and structure, was criticized for changing a culture that had been working. Nardelli left Home Depot to run Chrysler. -- Text by Rachel Tobin Ramos, AJC