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Home Depot looks to fill in Blank

ATLANTA -Home Depot's co-founder and co-chairman Arthur Blank will retire when his term ends on May 30. Co-chairman Bernie Marcus is expected to continue as chairman of the board.

Blank decided not to stand for re-election because of the successful transition of ceo Bob Nardelli and Blank's confidence in Nardelli's leadership and capabilities.

"When we introduced Bob Nardelli as our new ceo on Dec. 5, I was confident I was putting the company in solid, experienced hands," Blank said. "We have had a very smooth transition during the past two months, and I am proud of the course he and our senior management team are charting for the future of Home Depot."

Marcus said, "Arthur has been critical to the success of The Home Depot and its unique culture for 22 years. On behalf of the board, I want to express our gratitude for Arthur's vision, development and leadership in creating a huge retailing success, and I am especially grateful for his efforts in effecting such a smooth transition to Bob and his leadership team."

Blank plans to focus his time on expanding the work of the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, as well as increase his involvement in the business and nonprofit communities in Atlanta. He has accepted the volunteer position of chairman of the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, which will run from December 2002 through 2003. His term as chairman-elect will begin this December. He will also serve on the newly created board for the Georgia Council for the Arts, at the request of Georgia Governor Roy Barnes.

In addition, Blank said he wants to spend more time with his own family.

"I have missed the opportunity to be personally engaged in our family foundation and to share more of this work with my family," Blank said. "I look forward to being able to see first hand the organizations that benefit from our grants program and to help expand the impact that our foundation can have in improving the lives of others. For several years, I have been turning down requests to be more involved with the city of Atlanta. I now will have the time to give back to the community that has been so good to The Home Depot family." Blank and Marcus opened their first Home Depot in Atlanta in 1979.

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