Former Home Depot CEO Robert Nardelli could have stayed as chief executive of the home-products giant if he had agreed to take a $20 million cut in his contract that entitled him to around $200 million, CNBC'S Charlie Gasparino has learned.
Not only did Nardelli refuse to accept the offer, Gasparino said, but he ignored the advice of his mentor, former General Electric chairman Jack Welch, who at one point during the negotiations intervened and advised Nardelli to take the slightly lower package in order to save his job.
As reported, Nardelli was ousted as Home Depot's CEO last month amid controversy over his massive salary at a time when the company's share price floundered.
As previously reported by Gasparino, the company's co founder and lead director, Wall Street financier Ken Langone, led to charge to have Nardelli removed from the CEO post. But Langone didnt push Nardelli out without first offering him this deal that until now hasn't been disclosed.