Firm to drop proxy contest
DIY retailer Home Depot has appointed David Batchelder, principal of major shareholder Relational Investors, to the board of directors, with effect from February 22.

The private investment firm has agreed to drop its proxy contest and not participate in any withhold the vote, or similar, campaigns. Relational played a key role in the departure of Home Depot chairman and chief executive Bob Nardelli at the start of the year.

Relational principal Ralph Whitworth and Home Depot chairman and chief executive officer Frank Blake said in a joint a statement: 'We are very pleased to have reached this understanding, which will give Home Depot the benefit of Relational's strategic business advice without a costly and distracting proxy solicitation by Relational.'

Home Depot secretary and general counsel executive vice-president Frank Fernandez and HR executive vice-president Dennis Donovan have both resigned, with effect from February 14.

Blake said: 'We thank Frank and Dennis for their commitment to the company during their tenure here. We wish them well in the future.'

Home Depot talent, organisation and performance systems senior vice-president Tim Crow has been promoted to senior vice-president of HR. Home Depot litigation and risk management vice-president Jim Snyder has been named interim head of the legal department.