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Home Depot annual meeting no redux

VININGS, Ga., May 23 (UPI) -- U.S. home improvement retailer Home Depot Inc. plans to run its annual meeting this year starkly differently from last year's fiasco, the company said.

Unlike last year, when then Chief Executive Officer Robert Nardelli wouldn't even review the state of the chain's business, Frank Blake and his deputies plan to walk through a slide-show presentation Thursday, the company said.

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Home Depot's profit fell 30 percent in this year's first quarter and sales at stores open at least a year plunged 8 percent.

And in contrast to last year's 37-minute admitted debacle, which included huge on-stage timers to cut off angry shareholders, Thursday's meeting will last about two hours and have no timers, Home Depot said.

Blake, known for a low-key, humble approach -- and earning $8.9 million a year, compared with Nardelli's $39.7 million -- will also introduce board members, one by one, to shareholders, The New York Times reported.

The board was nowhere in sight last year, the Times said.

The meeting will also return to a convention center in Home Depot's headquarters city of Atlanta, where the company had its meetings for years before Nardelli moved the event around the country, Home Depot said.

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