The settlement (deadline here) stems in a August tweet where Tesla CEO Elon Musk maintained he had secured financing for a $70 billion go-private effort. Either Musk had pulled a huge financial coup — or would soon be facing an SEC investigation for possibly misleading investors.
It was be the latter.
As part of the September settlement with the SEC, Musk needed to resign as chairman for 3 years and cover a $20 million fine. Tesla also had to pay a $20 million fine, add two independent directors, and form a committee, proposed by a securities specialist, to monitor Musk's public comments about Tesla on social networking. Tesla has before January 14 to apply the oversight rules.
In a meeting with 60 Minutes earlier this month, Musk said that he does not respect the SEC.
Independent supervisors? Independent seat?
These SEC-mandated modifications are designed to deliver an independent force on the plank. Current not-so-independent Tesla board members incorporate the brother of their CEO and investors in Musk companies PayPal and SpaceX.
New board member Larry Ellison is the 74-year-old chairman, co-founder and CTO of all Oracle. He’s among the world’s wealthiest individuals (with a net value of approximately $54.5 billion) plus a bit of some maximalist. Ellison endorsed Marco Rubio’s PAC with millions in the 2016 U.S. presidential race.
A couple of months ago, we reported on Ellison because he digressed a bit (applicable clip starts at 2:21:40) through an Oracle analyst ) to talk Tesla. He said that he considers Musk a”very close” friend. He added that Tesla is his”second-largest investment.”
Ellison bought 3 million shares of Tesla earlier this year, according to the company, worth near $1 billion at its present share price.
However, according to CNBC, a Tesla spokesperson “downplayed Ellison and Musk's private relationship, saying the two had just socialized a couple of occasions and consistently in a class setting,” incorporating “Musk and Ellison had not spoken for about a year leading up to Ellison's appointment to the board. ”
The gap between Ellison’s purported “quite near ” friendship with all Musk along with the relationship described above is the distinction between a nonindependent and an independent director, Ellison’s $1 billion investment notwithstanding.
On a similar note, existing board celebrity Robyn Denholm was appointed seat in November.
Musk explained in the same 60 Minutes interview he handpicked Robyn Denholm to be his replacement as Tesla chairman, making her just arguably independent at a job he doesn’t even appear to respect. He tweeted that “'Chairman' is an honorific, not even executive function, so it’s not needed to conduct Tesla. Will retire that name at Tesla in 3 years. ”
Kathleen Wilson-Thompson is the worldwide head of human resources and executive VP at Walgreens Boots Alliance, the biggest pharmacy and health firm from the U.S., with more than 350,000 employees.
Meet with the older board
Here are the present members of the Tesla board.
Brad Buss: Former CFO at Musk household firm SolarCity.
Antonio Gracias: Gracias is a dubiously independent director with early investments in Tesla as well as Musk's company, SpaceX.
Ira Ehrenpreis: Venture capital investor that invest in Tesla while at Technology Partners.
Kimball Musk: Restaurateur and brother of Elon Musk.
Steve Jurvetson: The buyer and technologist is about a very long depart from the board following an alleged sexual misconduct episode at the partnership firm bearing his name. He also 's been busy raising a large, new finance.
Robyn Denholm: COO of telecommunications firm Telstra. Before Telstra, Denholm was CFO and COO at Juniper Networks. Unique among board members, she’s really worked at the automotive industry — at Toyota Motor Corporation Australia. Denholm was appointed seat in November.
Linda Johnson Rice: Chairman of Chicago-based Johnson Publishing Company, Rice joined the board from 2017.
James Murdoch: Rupert Murdoch's kid started record label Rawkus Records (roster included Black Star). At 30, he served as CEO of BSkyB. Murdoch became CEO of Twenty-First Century Fox at 2015.
Twitter oversight committee
The Tesla board remains relatively unburdened by automotive and manufacturing expertise. Only new seat Denholm could boast of a automotive background. Ellison’s ownership of quite expensive autos does not count.
Now the directorships and chairperson function happen to be addressed, all that remains of Tesla’s compliance with an SEC settlement is the formation of the Twitter oversight committee by January 14. The power of the committee to curb Musk’s behaviour on Twitter continues to be seen.
Additionally, it remains to be seen if Musk will remain on the right side of the SEC at 2019.
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