Leadership

Why Home Depot's CFO gets out of bed paranoid every day

Carol Tomè loves working as Home Depot's CFO so much that she wakes up every morning ready to fight the competition.

"Every morning we get up paranoid, getting ready to fight that competitor," Tomè told "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer.

Tomè has been CFO for 15 years and oversees real estate, financial services and strategic business development for the company — and she's more than just someone who loves numbers.

Cramer refers to her as "the heart and soul of Home Depot."

"I love, love, love to do it," Tomè said. "And when you do what you love, you can be more effective in your job."

Carol Tome, CFO, Home Depot
Scott Mlyn | CNBC
Carol Tome, CFO, Home Depot
"Every morning we get up paranoid, getting ready to fight that competitor." -Carol Tomè, Home Depot CFO

Tomè, whose inspiring leadership earned her a spot on CNBC's Global CFO Council in 2016 and a No. 2 ranking on the Wall Street Journal's list of best CFOs in corporate America in 2012, is also an avid gardener and has personally torn down houses and rebuilt homes with her husband. She said one of the many reasons she was hired 21 years ago to work at Home Depot is the simple fact that she enjoys it.

And in the face of competition, Tomè has a plan for her company. As many retailers have struggled to compete with online giant Amazon, Tomè plans to gain market share by ramping up delivery for big, bulky items like lumber, cement and roofing.

She also hopes to win by investing in the 400,000 employees of Home Depot.

"I am really blessed in that I have an amazing team," Tomè said. "These are men and women who are so doggone smart, and they provide me with a lot of information. And then I have my thinkers out touching everybody. I talk to everyone in the industry, experts, and bring in their research to help us formulate a point of view."

Ultimately, she plans to grow sales by making sure communities have what they need and balancing the art and science of merchandising. Of the eight core values of the business, one is to take care of each other. She says she prides herself that the company is a value-based business.

"When our communities are in time of need, be it a hurricane or any sort of a natural disaster or something else, we want to be a first responder," Tomè said.