Why Is Bob DeRodes Leaving Home Depot?

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I can't help but wonder why DeRodes is leaving after what appears to be a productive tenure with the company. I'm also eager to know whom Home Depot might recruit to replace him.

DeRodes has presided over IT at Home Depot since he joined the company as its EVP and CIO six years ago. Nardelli, who was effectively ousted by shareholder activists in 2007, recruited DeRodes from Delta in 2002 to modernize the company's aging, home-grown IT infrastructure. DeRodes' had a number of projects on his to-do list, among them:

  • Replace point-of-sale system
  • Install self-checkout kiosks
  • Upgrade LAN
  • Deploy data warehouse
  • Install price optimization software
  • Set up new warehouse and transportation management systems
  • Implement SAP financials and PeopleSoft ERP
Home Depot's IT department completed a number of those and other projects on DeRodes' watch, including the point-of-sale upgrade, the self-checkout installation and the deployment of the data warehouse and warehouse and transportation management systems. Home Depot's SAP implementation is expected to be complete in Canada this year.

DeRodes may be leaving because he's ticked a bunch of items off of his to-do list, and as such, he feels he's accomplished what he set out to accomplish in 2002. (I placed a call to Home Depot this afternoon to inquire about DeRodes' reason for leaving, and I'm waiting to hear back. I'll update this post when I get an answer. In the meantime, I'll continue to speculate.)

The press release announcing DeRodes' immanent departure reads as though the decision to leave the company was entirely his:

The Home Depot, the world's largest home improvement retailer, today announced that Bob DeRodes, executive vice president and chief information officer, has decided to leave the Company at the end of the year.
Judging by the press release, DeRodes' departure sounds like an amicable one:

"Bob has led a significant IT transformation at The Home Depot, and we thank him for his contributions to our Company. We are pleased he will remain with us through the transition to ensure that our business technology transformation initiatives continue to run smoothly," said Frank Blake, The Home Depot's chairman and CEO.
The press release also notes a number of DeRodes' accomplishments, including the opening of a back up data center in Austin, Texas and the implementation of an automated back-end receiving system.

Another reason why I think DeRodes' is leaving on good terms is because he's being given a say in the selection of his successor:

The Company will begin an immediate search for his replacement, and DeRodes will assist with this process as well as the eventual transition of responsibilities to his successor.
I doubt Home Depot would do DeRodes the honor of letting him participate in the search process if it was unsatisfied with his performance. Then again, not having the guy stick around to train his successor would be short-sighted. After all, DeRodes has worked there for six years and has a lot of valuable institutional knowledge to share.

The cynical side of me, however, can't help but think DeRodes' hand may have been forced—well, if

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