Ralph V. Whitworth, co-founder of Relational Investors, will joining the HP board of directors  effective immediately, HP has announced. The appointment expands the number of board members by one to 14. Whitworth will join two board committees, the Finance and Investment Committee and the HR and Compensation Committee.

HP and Relational have entered into a letter agreement under which 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.

In another development, Rajiv L. Gupta has been designated as lead independent director of the HP board. Gupta has served as a member of the board since January 2009 and has extensive leadership experience at large global companies.

Gupta currently serves as chairman of Avantor Performance Materials, a manufacturer of chemistries and materials. He also serves on the boards of directors of Tyco International and The Vanguard Group, and as senior advisor to New Mountain Capital, a private equity firm.