HP adds activist investor Whitworth to board | business | Hindustan Times
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HP adds activist investor Whitworth to board

business Updated: Nov 18, 2011 13:44 IST

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Activist investor Ralph Whitworth is joining Hewlett Packard's (HPQ.N) board, and reportedly has taken a 1 percent stake in the computer maker.

The addition of Whitworth, who co-founded the San Diego-based activist investment fund Relational Investors LLC, makes HP's board one of the largest in Silicon Valley with 14 directors.

HP's board of directors has faced investor criticism and shareholder lawsuits over recent decisions, including hiring former SAP AG (SAPG.DE) CEO Leo Apotheker as its chief executive, and the haphazard way in which some of it has communicated some of its decisions. Apotheker left HP in September.

CNBC reported Whitworth's stake. Neither the company nor Whitworth has disclosed the amount of shares that he owns. Whitworth was unavailable for comment. HP declined comment beyond its statement.

HP, in announcing Whitworth's appointment to the board on Thursday, also said that Rajiv Gupta, chairman of chemical materials company Avantor Performance Materials and HP board member since 2009, will be the lead independent director.

"Relational will support the HP board, and the board will nominate and support Whitworth, for the next two years, as long as Relational continues to be a significant stockholder of HP," HP said.

Whitworth will join the board's finance and investment committee and compensation committee, the company said.