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Home Depot Inc.'s CEO earned $37.9M in compensation in '05

ATLANTA - The Home Depot Inc.'s chief executive, Bob Nardelli, earned a whopping $37.9 million in total compensation last year, the nation's largest home improvement store chain said in a regulatory filing Friday.

The figure, disclosed in the Atlanta-based company's annual proxy to shareholders, includes salary, bonus, restricted stock awards and other types of compensation.

Home Depot's annual meeting of shareholders is scheduled for May 25 in Wilmington, Del.

Nardelli's total compensation for 2005 was a 3 percent increase from the total compensation of $36.6 million he earned in 2004.

The most recent year's total includes a base salary of $2.16 million, a bonus of $7 million and restricted stock awards of $14.7 million. Nardelli's compensation for last year also includes $2.1 million that relates to a loan he received from the company that was forgiven.

The company noted that the hefty compensation package for its top executive followed a year of big earnings for the company.

For all of fiscal 2005, Home Depot said the company earned $5.84 billion, or $2.72 a share, compared to a profit of $5 billion, or $2.26 a share, for fiscal 2004. Twelve-month revenue rose 11.5 percent to $81.51 billion, compared to $73.09 billion recorded for all of fiscal 2004.

Home Depot operates 2,058 stores in the United States, Canada and Mexico. It has announced plans to expand to China, but has not said how many stores it will open then or when.