Tesla has added Hiromichi Mizuno as a brand new member for its board of directors and audit committee — the former chief investment officer of Japan’s $1.5 trillion pension fund and a longtime opponent of common market practices like short sale.
Together with Mizuno’s appointment the Tesla plank currently has 10 members, such as Oracle founder, chairman and CTO Larry Ellison and Walgreens executive Kathleen Wilson-Thompson. Mizuno will sit on the board’s audit committee.
Mizuno has a long career in finance and investment which include a stint as executive managing director and chief investment officer of Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF), the largest in the world with roughly $1.5 billion in funds under administration. Mizuno left his place in March.
During his period at GPIF, Mizuno promoted practices. He was also famous for hard short advertising — a practice which has plagued Tesla and its own CEO Elon Musk . During his tenure, the GPIF suspended. Mizuno’s resistance to sale is at odds with some niche purists who think the investment strategy — which speculates on the decline in a stock provides greater price transparency. Mizuno has said in interviews with media outlets like the Financial Times it fights with his long term perspective.
Mizuno is on a number of government advisory boards, including the board of the PRI, the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council along with the Japanese authorities ’s fund.
He also challenged many recognized market techniques, including short-selling, to promote value production.
As a director, Mizuno will get an award of an option to buy 2,778 shares of Tesla’s common stock, exercisable and vesting on June 18, 2020. For serving on the audit committee, he will get an award of an option to purchase 4,000 shares of Tesla’s common stock, vesting in 12 equal monthly tranches, assuming continued service on each vesting date, as found by a regulator filing Thursday.
Tesla’s board had stumbled unchanged for decades until late 2018 when Ellison and Wilson-Thompson combined the board as independent directors as part of a settlement with U.S. securities authorities over CEO Elon Musk’s notorious tweets roughly taking the company private. Under the settlement, Tesla consented to include two supervisors and Musk would resign as chairman for three decades. Robyn Denholm, the former chief operations officer of Telstra Corporation Limited, a telecommunications company, was named chairman in November 2018.
In April 2019,” the company said it might cut down its board by more than one-third, to seven supervisors, by 2020, a move that included the loss of a number of Musk&rsquoearly allies and advisers.
Board members Brad Buss and Linda Johnson Rice, who combined two decades ago as supervisors, didn’t seek re-election in 2019 and their terms s shareholder meeting in June. The board said it didn’t even wish to fill their seats.
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