Tesla is dramatically changing its board

Daniel Fowler
April 23, 2019

Tesla denied it was down to any disagreement between the company and its directors. However in February, Musk tweeted - without having it reviewed - that Tesla would make 500,000 cars this year, then corrected himself that that was an annualized figure.

A federal judge has given Tesla CEO Elon Musk and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission another week to resolve a legal dispute over release of information about Tesla.

Musk later backed off the concept of taking the business private, but regulators concluded he had not lined up the sum to pull off the offer.

Brad Buss and Linda Johnson Rice's terms will expire at the 2019 annual stockholder meeting, while Antonio Gracias, and Stephen Jurvetson will leave at the 2020 annual meeting. Gracias and Jurvetson are both on the board of the billionaire's closely held SpaceX.

Musk was sued by the SEC previous year for tweeting that he had "funding secured" to take the company private.

"This shakeup of the board has been long overdue", said Stephen Diamond, a corporate-governance expert and associate law professor at Santa Clara University who has urged changes in oversight at the company.

Nissan files criminal complaint against jailed ex-Chairman Ghosn
The indictment, Ghosn's fourth, was expected and it ensures he will remain in detention unless his request for bail is granted. According to the latest indictment, Ghosn caused a total of $5 million in losses to Nissan from July 2017 through July 2018.

Director terms will be cut to two years from three, allowing shareholders to vote on the board's performance with greater frequency, according to a proxy filed Friday.

Jurvetson and Gracias should retire in June as opposed to waiting until next year, said Dieter Waizenegger, executive director of CtW Investment Group, which works with union pension funds that are Tesla investors.

Tesla's other board members are chairman Robyn Denholm, Ira Ehrenpreis, Larry Ellison, James Murdoch, Kimbal Musk and Kathleen Wilson-Thompson.

"This is a first good step, but there's more work to do", said Waizenegger.

Musk also agreed to have his tweets monitored by a company employee, but Tesla has not disclosed who that "twitter sitter" is. That motion is what brought Musk to a Manhattan court room in April, when a judge ordered both him and the SEC to put on their "reasonableness pants" and come to a new agreement, which is now due on Thursday, April 25.

Tesla shares have plunged 18% this year, compared with a 21% gain in the Nasdaq Composite.

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