Eric Risberg / AP

Tesla names two new board members as part of the SEC settlement

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Tesla today announced the addition of two new members to its board, Oracle Founder Larry Ellison, and Kellogg Executive Wilson Thomson.

Ellison has already declared Tesla to be his second largest investment back in October. He currently holds 3 million shares of Tesla and is also friends with Elon Musk.

Wilson Thomson has spent 17 years working as an Executive for Kellogg, he currently leads the organization as Executive Vice President. He’s also the Global Human Resource Officer at Walgreens Boots Alliance.

This addition is the result of a settlement between SEC and Elon Musk, according to which he was required to add two new independent board members. The SEC charged Elon Musk’s statements on Twitter as “false” and “misleading”, in which he unveiled his plans to make Tesla a privately-owned company once again.

SEC and other critics of Tesla considered the board as weak. They questioned the board’s ability to take independent decisions because they see each of its member having close ties with Elon Musk, personally or professionally.

Shareholders have demanded the addition of outer voices to the board too. A group with a shareholding exceeding $1 billion in Tesla has asked the company to ensure greater independence in oversight.

Larry Ellison may be a shareholder but still many are already questioning his addition to the board since he is also close to the Tesla’s Chief Executive. Still, there are others who see it has a good thing for Tesla since they consider Larry Ellison as an asset for the company.

Addition of these two members would definitely help Tesla put to end the short-lived spat between Elon Musk and the Security Exchange Commission. Although he may not seem to be in the driving seat for now, in an interview to a news program “60 Minutes” Elon Musk made it clear that he could call for a shareholder vote and get anything done that he wanted.  

The question remains: Did Elon Musk have to take to take Tesla public? Or should he have kept it private?



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