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Home Depot Shuffles Execs, Names Adams CMO

By Oct 16, 2006

The Home Depot promoted Roger Adams to CMO last week in a management shuffle that separates marketing from merchandising in order to improve both at the store level.

Home Depot eliminates the post of executive VP-merchandising and marketing as Tom Taylor vacates the job to take a long-term consulting contract with Home Depot. That separates marketing from merchandising for the first time since 2004, with both reporting directly to CEO Bob Nardelli.

Adams takes the new post of senior VP-CMO; he has been Home Depot’s senior VP-marketing for 20 months, joining the retailer in early 2005 after several years at General Motors. Adams and his counterpart, senior VP-Merchandising Craig Menear, now report directly to Nardelli. Adams and Menear will work together closely to maintain joint brand promotions that rely heavily on merchandising.

Meanwhile, Carl Liebert, who has been executive VP-Home Depot Stores, left the company on Oct. 12, with no plans to replace him. The four division presidents who had worked under Liebert now report directly to Nardelli: Bruce Merino (Western division), Paul Raines (Southern division), Marvin Ellison (Northern division) and Ricardo Saldivar (Mexico).

The changes are meant to streamline decision-making and improve in-store execution as Atlanta-based Home Depot upgrades its stores with a $350 million push that includes merchandising resets and a systemwide rollout of self-checkout stations in its 2,079 stores.

Cutting the two exec VP jobs “brings Bob even closer to the retail business,” said spokesperson Ron DeFeo.

The management revamp and the store upgrades “will help us meet the challenges posed by the uncertain economy over the next several months,” Nardelli said in a statement. “In listening to feedback from front-line associates over the past few months, it is clear that a more direct and focused management of store operations and related functions will further empower our stores to better serve our customers and gain market share in a challenging business environment.”

Taylor, who rose through Home Depot’s ranks from his first job as a part-time sales associate at 16, spent the last 20 months overseeing marketing and merchandising; earlier he was exec VP-Home Depot Stores.

Home Depot’s net sales rose 15% to $47.49 billion for the first half of fiscal 2006 (ended July 30), driven mostly by its Supply business (up 325% to $3.5 billion). Home Depot’s retail sales were up only 5.1% to $22.6 billion, with same-store sales flat (down 0.2%) for the half.

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