“Can you repeat the questions?”
The question-and-answer session is often the most entertaining segment of a shareholders meeting. Case in point, Home Depot’s June 2 meeting brought a half hour of free-wheeling comments from the floor. Below are just some of the questions (abbreviated and paraphrased) and actual excerpts from chairman and CEO Frank Blake’s always-polite responses.
Question: Why do you continue to sell glue traps?
Frank Blake: “One of the things we try to do is provide our customers with a number of different alternatives.”
Question: Thank you for selling glue traps. Also, employees should be paid more. What do you say?
Blake: “We are one of the few — very, very few — retailers in the country that has both maintained merit increases for our hourly associates, maintained 401K matches and actually increased bonuses to our hourly associates during this tough recession.”
Question: Why don’t you hire more senior citizens as greeters?
Blake: “Thank you very much.”
Question: What have you done to trace the sourcing of minerals from the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo?
Blake: “I don’t know, but I will have somebody get back in touch with you.”
Question: Why don’t you use your political clout to stabilize the housing market?
Blake: “Thank you very much for those comments.”