While Nardelli's resignation was said to be abrupt, the CEO had come under fire for his big compensation package, at a time when many investors were disappointed by the company's performance. The Atlanta-based company has been struggling with disappointing sales, as a result of the slumping U.S. housing market.
Last month, an activist shareholder group called for a review of the company's strategic direction and management performance, as well as the possibilities of a sale of the company.
Wall Street's immediate reaction was that change is good, sending the stock higher. But the departure of Nardelli, who had been at Home Depot for six years, raises plenty of questions for the marketing strategy of Home Depot--long regarded as one of America's best-managed and most innovative specialty retailers, and a big-box pioneer.
In October, the company promoted Roger Adams to senior vice president-CMO, after leaving the post vacant for more than a year.
Home Depot has more than 2,100 stores, and had sales of $81.5 billion in fiscal 2005.