Three new board members for Lowe’s
Lowe's has appointed David Batchelder, co-founder of Relational Investors, and Lisa W. Wardell, CEO of Adtalem Global Education, to its board of directors, effective March 22.
The company will nominate Batchelder, Wardell and new nominee Brian Rogers, chairman of T. Rowe Price Group and its former chief investment officer, for election at Lowe's 2018 Annual Meeting of Shareholders.
"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," Robert Niblock, Lowe's chairman, president and CEO, said in a prepared statement.
D. E. Shaw, a hedge fund with $48 billion in assets, has taken a largest stake in Lowe’s over the past year — as much as $1 billion — and recently became active in criticizing the retailer’s strategy. According to reports, Batchelder was D. E. Shaw’s choice to join the Lowe’s board.
Batchelder sat on The Home Depot board of directors from 2007 to 2011.
“We appreciate Lowe's collaborative approach and are pleased to have worked together to enhance the company's board of directors," said Quentin Koffey, a portfolio manager at D. E. Shaw. "Lowe's is an excellent company with tremendous value creation opportunities in front of it, and we believe the new directors will be significant assets to the board. We believe the refreshed board and the management team are committed to achieving outstanding performance and maximizing shareholder value."
Batchelder will serve for the duration of his time as a director on the board's compensation committee, chaired by Eric Wiseman, former chairman and CEO of VF Corporation, and the nominating and governance committee, chaired by Lowe's lead director Marshall Larsen, former chairman and CEO of Goodrich Corporation.
Wardell will serve on the board's audit committee, chaired by Raul Alvarez, chairman of Skylark Co., and the public policy committee, chaired by Angela Braly, former chair and CEO of WellPoint, Inc.
Rogers' committee appointments will be determined immediately following his election to the board at the shareholders meeting, Lowe’s said.
Eye on Retail: Walmart sees savings with LEDs
Walmart has seen some dramatic cost savings as the result of its commitment to LED lighting.
The nation’s largest retailer revealed the results of an extensive lighting program with Current, powered by GE, at the National Retail Federation’s Big Show. As part of its ongoing commitment to energy efficiency, Walmart has now installed more than 1.5 million LED fixtures across more than 6,000 stores, parking lots, distribution centers and corporate offices in 10 countries.
The ambitious energy initiative, which has taken place over the past decade, has reduced lighting energy consumption and reduced costs by more than $100 million. The savings are particularly significant because energy costs traditionally represented one of the company’s largest operating expenses.
Walmart’s investment in energy efficiency has reduced energy use per square foot by more than 12% since 2010. Its LED investments are part of Walmart’s science-based emissions reduction plan aimed at meeting its goal to reduce emissions by 18% by 2025 (from 2015 levels) in its own operations through a combination of increased energy efficiency, sourcing of renewable energy and improvements in refrigeration systems and fleet efficiency.
“Energy is one of the key operating expenses that we can reduce while delivering system upgrades that improve the customer shopping experience,” said Mark Vanderhelm, Walmart’s VP of energy. “The ripple effect from these LED conversions throughout the business is truly staggering. We believe that by continuing to reduce one of our biggest operating expenses, we’re supporting future innovation and delivering on our promise of Every Day Low Prices.”
The LED commercial lighting initiative between Walmart and GE started 10 years ago with refrigeration display lighting and has grown to include parking lot and interior lighting. Many stores now also feature Current’s TriGain technology, which is designed to improve product visibility and enhance color vibrancy in areas like produce departments.
In addition, Walmart is moving aggressively to complete LED and controls retrofits in all of its distribution centers across the United States. It has embarked on a new initiative to replace all other forms of overhead lighting with LED.
“We believe the global LED and controls transformation is paving the way for the next generation of smart retail, where steady advancement toward new digital solutions will continue improving the shopping experience,” said Maryrose Sylvester, president and CEO of Current by GE. “Walmart is once again on the leading edge of progress.”