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Bernie Marcus, Co-Founder and Ex-CEO of the Home Depot on the CEO TV Show Says Free Enterprise System at Risk

Ridgefield, CT, November 26, 2011 --( Bernie Marcus, co-founder and ex-CEO of The Home Depot, in an interview with Robert Reiss on The CEO TV Show, discussed the importance of corporate culture in building The Home Depot, and then had a spirited discussion about how he believes the free enterprise system in America is under attack and at risk.

Robert Reiss, host of The CEO TV Show, asked Marcus about his views on corporate culture when he was building The Home Depot. "It all starts with the customer," Marcus explained. "We are there to serve the customer. If they find what they want, or at least have a pleasant customer experience in the stores because we, the employees, engage with them, then we succeed. It's their money and we want to make sure all of the employees understand that the success of the company and their jobs are directly related to how well we engage with our customers."

"So for us, corporate culture is simple - (1) love your customers; and (2) love your co-workers. Both reinforce the other and the result is success for all." That's easily said, but what is the key to ensuring the corporate culture message works? "It has to be from the top down. Earlier in the business - before issues of harassment came up - I would literally hug my customers; that was the way I felt about them. And the employees saw that our culture came literally from the top down. It can't be a slogan; it has to come from the top, and be visible to employees in an authentic way."

Marcus then moved to the current climate in America explaining why he feels the free enterprise system being under attack by the media and "Occupy Wall Street" protesters monopolizing the message without the media giving balance to the issues. "CEOs suddenly became the enemy. Why? Because people don't have jobs. Well we're the ones who create jobs! These young people are frustrated and that's understandable, but blaming CEOs is like killing the golden goose! They look at us as being the powerful ones, and then think that the government - the largest and most powerful force in this country - is somehow the solution. But if we CEOs don't succeed in establishing and growing our businesses, there are no meaningful jobs and even the government is affected."

Why don't more CEOs speak out on this issue? "Because CEOs have been intimidated and they no longer have the courage to speak up. Their focus is on maintaining their businesses over the long run, rather than engaging in political discourses - and that's understandable, too. For me, I'm retired from my business, but we have to speak out, and we have to explain the process. So I and a group of fellow CEOs have created the Job Creators Alliance,, which is now a growing movement to tell the facts of life to the general public, and to get our message out there that we are the ones who create growth and jobs in our society, not the government, and that we ultimately are the ones who will solve our economic problems, not the government."

About The CEO TV Show: The CEO TV Show, a service of The CEO Show (, 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",;;

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