How Annette Verschuren built Home Depot Canada into a $6 billion behemoth

“You have to recreate yourself as a leader as your organization grows”

Career Path, a continuing CB series in which top innovators and entrepreneurs explain how they got there
Annette Verschuren

NRStor founder Annette Verschuren

The former president of Home Depot Canada founded NRStor Inc. in 2012 to create renewable-energy storage systems that ensure electricity is available when it’s needed.

St. Francis Xavier University, 1974–1977

Bachelor’s degree in business administration

“I was brought up on a farm, and when I was 11, I ran the farm with my brothers for many years. I’ve always had more of an operational bent because of that. I loved doing things with my hands. I loved getting my hands dirty. So, I think business was natural for me.”

Cape Breton Development Corp., 1977–1986

Development Officer

“The biggest thing I took away was how not to run a company. It was a Crown corporation, so it was run by the government, and the unions and management fought all the time.”

Canada Development Investment Corp., 1986–1989

Executive Vice-President

Imasco Ltd., 1989–1992

Vice-President Corporate Development; Director of Operations

Michaels of Canada Inc., 1992–1996


The Home Depot Canada, 1996–2011


“It grew from 19 stores and about $600 million in sales to $6 billion in sales and 179 stores over a 15-year period. You have to recreate yourself as a leader so many times because the evolution of your organization grows. The discipline you need as a leader changes, but it really does come down to creating that vision, getting the resources, building your team, and introducing the right policies and procedures to grow your company.”

NRStor Inc., 2012–Present

Chair and CEO

“I went around the world for a year with my husband and thought about what I would do next. In 2012, I saw three big things that needed to be solved—water, food and energy—and I started looking into those areas. NRStor is a company that commercializes energy storage technologies. It’s an early startup—it’s exciting. You really depend upon a small group of people to drive the business ahead.”