Annette Verschuren

Annette Verschuren, president, Home Depot Canada, Toronto

Annette Verschuren, president, Home Depot Canada, Toronto

Just last month, Home Depot Canada flexed its big-box muscle when president Annette Verschuren announced plans to open an additional 18 stores by year’s end, creating over 2,000 new jobs across the country. It’s clearly a declaration to rumble in a home renovation war (the industry is booming and currently valued at $28 billion in Canada), which has heated up this spring with the launch of splashy new campaigns from Canadian Tire and Rona and the announcement that another American reno chain, Lowe’s, is preparing to enter Canada in 2007. No doubt Verschuren will be a

fierce competitor.

Since 1996, she has led the expansion of the big-box brand into Canada. To date, there are 138 stores across the country and what started as a male renovation brand has morphed into a lifestyle, décor shop that is increasingly catering to women – and with terrific success (revenues were about $5.5 billion last year). Before renovation, Verschuren had her hand in arts and crafts as president and co-owner of big-box chain, Michaels.

Beyond the boardroom:

* She sits on the board of the Canadian Council for Chief Executives.

* She is chair of Habitat for Humanity’s National President’s Council, in addition to the Canadian Corporate Council on Volunteerism.