Yes, to use the "Corporate Layout", front page settings should be set to "blog" instead "static page". We have noted this point too and we will keep this in the documentation as well.
I really appreciate your feedback, we want such feedback to keep on coming. We would like to learn from everyone's feedback which would help us to evolve. I would like to share some of my points in the lines below and get your views on the follow up conversation.
Here you have said "I would also like an option to have static text in place of the slider. Here is why, with a static text option, you could have descriptive text about the business, and then you could use anchor text to link to internal pages on the link subject, this is good SEO practice. "
In the home "Home's Corporate Type Layout Options" under the "Advanced settings" tab. There are input field to enter the image, redirect link, title and description. Upload an image, Enter a title and description( you could add the title and some content of specific page) and give the link of that specific page in the redirect link. And then you could use SEO plugin and add keywords and description on that same page. This is for one featured box of the corporate layout, you could repeat the same for the other two featured box.
Similarly, if you want to use text instead of slider. Just use one post id in the slider option, don't set the featured image for post id(so image will not be displayed). And use SEO plugin and add keywords and description on that same post.
Actually, you have raised good point and we are now thinking more effective ways to implement the "Corporate Layout" for better SEO. If we come up with more better ideas, we will surely implement them in the upcoming version updates of Clean Retina theme.