Lowe’s Adds Independent Directors To Board

Lowe’s has appointed David Batchelder, co-founder of Relational Investors, and Lisa Wardell, CEO of Adtalem Global Education, to its board of directors effective March 22 as it responds to an activist investor.

The retailer also announced that it would nominate Batchelder, Wardell and Brian Rogers, chairman of T. Rowe Price Group and its former chief investment officer, for election at Lowe’s 2018 annual meeting of shareholders.

Batchelder will serve as a director on the board’s compensation committee and the nominating and governance committee, while Wardell will serve on the board’s audit and the public policy committees. Rogers’ committee appointments will follow his election to the board at the company’s annual meeting.

According to published reports, activist investor firm D.E. Shaw has taken a stake in Lowe’s. Earlier this month, Gordon Haskett Research Advisors analyst Don Bilson suggested that an activist investor might take such a stake, characterizing it as “an opportunity to close a margin gap with Home Depot and tap into a reserve of earnings power.”

Robert Niblock, Lowe’s chairman, president and CEO, said, “We are pleased to welcome David, Brian and Lisa as new independent directors to the Lowe’s board and especially value the constructive discussions we have had with the D.E. Shaw group. The addition of these directors complements our board of directors’ skills and experiences, and we are confident they will provide valuable perspectives as we continue to execute our strategy, drive profitability and enhance value for all Lowe’s shareholders.”