Ridgefield, CT, October 26, 2011 --(PR.com
)-- Bernie Marcus, co-founder of The Home Depot, explains to Robert Reiss, host of The CEO TV Show, what it was like to have been a successful CEO of a company one day, fired the next for internal political reasons, and having to start all over again at the age of 50. Of course, now everyone knows what The Home Depot is but it, like every business, started out life with only a vision, a hope, and a prayer. But that wasn't all; Marcus was also battling lawsuits from his previous company and had no money.
"Building a business is hard work, there's no question about that," Marcus explained. "But you also have to have luck, and you have to find people who you can trust. One of the ways you get both is finding and surrounding yourself with people who are smarter than you are."
Marcus said that in the early days of The Home Depot, he was never sure whether they were going to be successful or not. "You have to remember - no one had ever built a store like The Home Depot before - it was huge compared to anything anyone was used to. So we'd get up and go to work each day and do the best we could never really knowing if it would work. All of the senior management was on the floor at some point each day talking to customers to take the pulse of the business."
How long was it before he had a sense that it was going to succeed? "For the first two years - like most businesses I suppose - it was one day at a time. Then I remember distinctly talking to a guy and asked him where he was from. He said Athens, Georgia. Being new to Georgia I wasn't sure where Athens was at the time, so I asked him. He said it was about two hours away. So I asked him how he heard of The Home Depot all the way in Athens? He said a friend of a friend, of a friend told him about the store. That's when I knew we would succeed, because we didn't have money for any area advertising back then, so if this guy from Athens heard about us through word-of-mouth and was willing to drive two hours to come to the store, I knew we'd make it."
Could someone today do the same thing again in today's market? "Never say 'never', but it would be much harder. Back when we started, I could hire some of the best people because I could compensate them with less salary, but give them stock options as part of their compensation. And, of course, many of our early partners became very successful financially. Unfortunately, that game is now over with the regulations out of Washington making it very difficult to do."
The whole interview can be seen on The CEO TV Show, www.ceoshow.tv and www.ceoshow.com.
The CEO TV Show, a service of The CEO Show (www.ceoshow.com), is a weekly program based on a series of video interviews with top CEOs who have changed the fabric of American society hosted by Robert Reiss. In addition to being available at the website above, it is also hosted on a number of affiliate websites, including ACG New York, Vistage, Small Giants, Senn Delaney, NAFE and others.
For more information, contact: Patric Hale, General Manager, "The CEO Show", email@example.com; www.ceoshow.com; www.ceoshow.tv.