The next time Home Depot tries to get some local community to pay for road, water or sewer improvements, or to give them tax financing of any kind — tell the company to just send the bill to Bob Nardelli. The media reported widely this week that Nardelli, the CEO of Home Depot, took home a “whopping” $37.9 million in total compensation last year, based on a filing with the federal Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC). This figure, includes salary, bonus, restricted stock awards and other types of compensation, according to the Associated Press. Nardelli’s compensation for 2005 was 3% higher than the $36.6 million he was paid in 2004. His 2005 figure includes a base salary of $2.16 million, a bonus of $7 million and stock awards of $14.7 million. Home Depot justified this salary for its top manager by pointing out the company earned $5.84 billion, compared to $5 billion in fiscal 2004. The company’s total revenue in 2005 was $81.51 billion, compared to $73.09 billion in 2004. Home Depot is the third largest retailer in the world, trailing only Wal-Mart, and the French discounter Carrefour. In 2004, Wal-Mart brought in four times the revenue that Home Depot did, but Wal-Mart’s return on revenues (profits as a % of revenues) was 3.5%, whereas Home Depot’s return on revenues was nearly twice that, or 6.8%. In 2004, Home Depot made $5 billing in net earnings off of $73 billion in sales, whereas Wal-Mart made $10 billion in net earnings off of $287.9 billion in sales. Wal-Mart had to sell 4 times as much as Home Depot to make twice the earnings.
To put Nardelli’s “whopping” compensation package into perspective, a Home Depot worker earning $12 an hour, working 37.5 hours per week, would have to work 2,269 years to make what Nardelli makes in one year. That means roughly 32 Home Depot employees, working their entire lives, from moment of birth to death, would earn what Nardelli makes in one year.