Home Depot nabs Staples GC

US company Home Depot has hired former Staples general counsel Jack VanWoerkom as its new executive vice-president, general counsel and corporate secretary.

VanWoerkom, who will be based at the company’s Atlanta headquarters, left his role as general counsel and corporate secretary at Staples in June to fill the post after general counsel Frank Fernandez stepped down in March.

Home Depot’s board came under a wave of pressure from activist shareholders stemming from the company’s poor stock performance over 2006.

The speculation surrounding the company led to chief executive Bob Nardelli’s resignation in January. Nardelli was quickly replaced by vice-chairman Frank Blake, the former general counsel of GE Power Systems, while the role of general counsel was filled temporarily by Jim Snyder, the vice-president of litigation and risk management.

While VanWoerkom’s hands will be full with the $10.3bn (£5.04bn) sale of Home Depot’s distribution subsidiary HD Supply to a private equity consortium, he is also scheduled for a two-week stint in a Home Depot shop floor in Boston as part of the company’s time-honoured tradition of in-store education for top executives.

Meanwhile, VanWoerkom, who was known to have been integral to Staples’ entry into the Asia market, was replaced by Staples’ deputy general counsel Kristin Campbell.