At first glance, Robert Nardelli seemed like the perfect candidate to renovate Home Depot’s market presence. Known for his militaristic style and relentless work ethic, the former General Electric Executive was hailed in the business press as the ideal commander to bolster the home improvement chain’s slipping market share and lead the company back to its former glory.
As Nardelli’s tenure wore on, however, things fell apart and, prompted by stalled stock prices and increasing investor outrage over Nardelli’s compensation, Home Depot’s board of directors ousted the embattled CEO in 2007.
Nardelli’s story – a smart, talented individual hired to repair an ailing company, only to fail and cost the company dearly in the process – isn’t unfamiliar. Although each of these leaders faced a different set of circumstances and challenges, the common thread in many of their stories is a misalignment of values.
The Culture Clash, the last in a three-part series, examines the effect of personality on leadership style, unconscious biases, and the work culture that leaders create.