January 8th, 2012

Cost-Cutting Capitalist Robert Nardelli Named Remington CEO

Nardelli Remington CEO logoNew Chief Executive at Remington Arms
Robert L. Nardelli has been selected as the new CEO of Remington Arms Company. Remington is part of the Freedom Group, Inc., which is owned by Cerberus Capital Management, a private holding company. Prior to taking over the reigns at Remington, Nardelli has served with Cerberus as a leading executive.

Nardelli’s Chrysler Years
Mr. Nardelli joined Cerberus in the spring of 2007, and, shortly thereafter, was named Chairman and CEO of Chrysler Motors Company, LLC. He was noted for aggressive cost-cutting at Chrysler and for improving build quality which reduced warranty claims. Nonetheless, Chrysler filled for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2009, and Nardelli was replaced as Chrysler CEO by Italian Sergio Marchionne who has guided the Detroit automaker from bankruptcy to profitability.

Nardelli Aggressively Cut Costs and Streamlined Operations at Home Depot
Before his stint at Chrysler, Nardelli served as Home Depot’s Chairman and CEO. Prior to that, Nardelli was CEO of General Electric Power Systems. Nardelli’s tenure as head of Home Depot was controversial. Using the Six Sigma management strategy he learned at GE, Nardelli dramatically overhauled Home Depot. He streamlined operations, most notably implementing a computerized automated inventory system. Many of those moves were effective (revenues rose from $46 to $81.5 billion in six years) but Nardelli’s autocratic management style turned off employees and the public. Nardelli was notably criticized for cutting back on knowledgeable full-time employees with experience in the trades and replacing them with part-time help with little relevant experience. This move reduced costs, but hurt customer service. Home Depot’s stock price stagnated, and the company lost market share to Lowe’s. Nardelli left Home Depot with a massive $210,000,000 severance package — a “golden parachute” that drew criticism from Home Depot shareholders (and members of Congress).

Nardelli Remington CEO logoChanges Ahead for Remington?
Will Nardelli shake up Remington the way he did Home Depot, streamlining operations and laying off senior employees? Will we see further consolidation of manufacturing among Freedom Group brands? Only time will tell. Nardelli’s policies will be formulated, to be sure, to match the larger objectives of Cerberus. But Nardelli has a reputation as a tough cost-cutter, so changes may be in store for Remington Arms Company, the oldest continuously-operating manufacturer in North America.

About Freedom Group, Inc.
Freedom Group is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of firearms and ammunition. The Freedom Group embraces multiple brands including Remington, Marlin, Harrington & Richardson, New England Firearms, L.C. Smith, Parker, Bushmaster, DPMS/Panther Arms, EOTAC, and INTC.