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The Home Depot headed to China

ATLANTA — Home Depot plans to expand into China and named Bill Patterson to the newly created position of president, The Home Depot Asia.

Patterson will report directly to Bob Nardelli, chairman, president and CEO.

Patterson, who has served as president, Central Division, since 2002, joined The Home Depot in 1999. Prior to The Home Depot, Patterson's experience spanned more than 30 years in retail in the United States, Asia, Mexico and Europe. Patterson held positions as chairman, president and CEO of Sears Roebuck of Mexico, and president and CEO of HomeBase, then the sixth largest home improvement retailer in the United States.

It is estimated that the Chinese home improvement market today is at nearly $50 billion and growing at a compounded rate of 20 percent, according to the retailer.

"About 70 percent of home improvement spending in China is for completion of interior space in new homes. We see that as a solid growth opportunity given The Home Depot's strength in merchandise and services geared to finishing out a home," said Patterson.

The company also announced that Troy Rice, senior vice president of operations since 2002, will replace Patterson as president, Central Division, at its Chicago office. The company also promoted Carl Liebert to senior vice president of operations, replacing Rice.

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