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The Home Depot, Atlanta, GA, has reached an agreement with Relational Investors LLC. The investment firm is headed by Ralph Whitworth, who has criticized HD's executive strategy, including its HD Supply division, and has demanded a place on the board.
As part of the agreement, David Batchelder, a principal of Relational, will join HD's board of directors on Feb. 22, 2007. Relational has agreed to drop its proxy contest - Batchelder will be appointed to the Leadership Development and Compensation Committee and to the Audit Committee.
Today's agreement follows actions taken by Relational in December 2006 to solicit proxies for a resolution to be brought before The Home Depot's annual meeting seeking an independent committee to evaluate strategy and to elect nominees of Relational to The Home Depot board. Under the agreement, Relational has withdrawn its resolution and will not solicit proxies at this year's annual meeting.
Batchelder is a director of Washington Group International and ConAgra Foods, Inc. He has served on seven other public company boards during his 25-year career.