Do you want to be like Bob?

I get a lot of mail complaining about various companies and their customer service, and Home Depot accounts for a huge percentage of it. In fact, five times more people complain about Home Depot than any other organization.

Today, Bob Nardelli, their CEO, got fired.

He probably got fired for insulting his investors (his annual meeting will go down in history) and for alienating employees and customers. He appeared to go out of his way to annoy customers, especially. There are very few companies that don’t even bother to write back if you write to the CEO.

Here’s the thing. In addition to getting fired, Bob got two hundred and ten million dollars in severance. (Try this: $210,000,000.00)

Amazing. I’d been writing a post over the last few weeks trying to explain why Home Depot had some sort of strategy in carving out this niche for itself, but it sure looks to me as though Bob’s strategy was more about Bob.

My best advice is that if you can get a severance package like that, you should go ahead and get fired. Failing that, though, I’m at a loss to figure out why you would deliberately ruin a pretty decent brand by aggressively annoying all your constituents.