Home Depot shareholders, who rejected proposals to more closely regulate executive pay and split the CEO and chairman positions. The directors up for election, however, were approved by a landslide. From the Wall Street Journal:
Chairman and Chief Executive Frank Blake said directors were each elected with at least 67% of the votes cast by shareholders, based on preliminary vote totals. Nine shareholder proposals were defeated, with the one getting the most support — an effort to require the board seek shareholder approval of extraordinary retirement benefits for executives in the future — garnering 44% of votes cast.
Despite affirming the doom and gloom scenario for this year (the low end of a projected 4%-9% decline in earnings with flat sales), Home Depot insists that its fortunes will change any minute now (minus any more unseasonably cold Aprils). In fact, 5% sales growth and 10% earnings growth is just around the corner, according to management (waiting for the ink to dry on those retirement packages that don’t have to be approved). How will the company achieve such stellar growth after such a long period of stagnation? Blake responds:
It’s gonna take money, a whole lotta spending money. It’s gonne take plenty of money, to do it right. It’s also gonna take time. A whole lot of precious time. It’s gonna take patience and time, to do it, to do it, to do it, to do it, to do it, to do it right.
Blake didn’t give much detail here. In fact, the new proposition places Home Depot firmly in Phase 2 of the official Underpants Gnome business plan (Phase 1: Collect Underpants, Phase 2: [silence], Phase 3: Profit!).
Home Depot Shareholders Elect Directors, Reject Pay Proposals [Wall Street Journal]