Tesla names Oracle’s Larry Ellison, Walgreens executive to board as part of SEC settlement

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Tesla has added two independent directors to its board, Oracle founder and executive chairman Larry Ellison and Walgreens executive Kathleen Wilson-Thompson, as part of a settlement with U.S. securities regulators over CEO Elon Musk’s infamous tweets about taking the company private.

The pair joined the board as of December 27, Tesla said in an announcement early Friday morning. Kathleen Wilson-Thompson is currently executive vice president and global chief human resources officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance. She also sits on public boards at two U.S.-based manufacturing companies.

Tesla board, led by its Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee, said it considered candidates with a “wide range of skill sets” from across the globe who also hold a strong personal belief in Tesla’s mission of accelerating the world’s transition to sustainable energy.

Ellison purchased 3 million Tesla shares earlier this year. The Oracle founder also spent $1.9 million on a microgrid energy system from Tesla in 2017 for a greenhouse farming project in Lanai, according to a regulatory filing.

“In conducting a widespread search over the last few months, we sought to add independent directors with skills that would complement the current board’s experience. In Larry and Kathleen, we have added a preeminent entrepreneur and a human resources leader, both of whom have a passion for sustainable energy,” said Tesla’s Board of Directors.

The appointments closes a dramatic year for Tesla and Musk, who reached a settlement with the SEC in September that included he step down as chairman of the board and pay a $20 million fine. The SEC filed a complaint earlier this year alleging that Musk lied when he tweeted on August 7 that he had “funding secured” for a private takeover of the company at $420 per share.

Musk has remained CEO and still has a seat on the board. Tesla also agreed to name two independent directors to the board.

Tesla paid a separate $20 million penalty. The SEC said the charge and fine against Tesla is for failing to require disclosure controls and procedures relating to Musk’s tweets.

Tesla’s fulfillment of the agreement with the SEC marks the beginning of a new era of corporate governance for Tesla, which some shareholders have argued is too tightly controlled by Musk and others closely aligned to him such as his brother Kimbal Musk.

In 2017, Tesla diversified its board and added James Rupert Murdoch, the CEO of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc., and Linda Johnson Rice,Chairman and CEO of Johnson Publishing Company.

Other board members include: Robyn Denholm, who joined the board in 2014, Brad W. Buss, who has been on since 2009, Antonio Gracias, and Ira Ehrenpreis, one of longest-serving board members who joined in 2007. Denholm was named Tesla chairman in October.

Written by Kirsten Korosec
This news first appeared on https://techcrunch.com/2018/12/28/tesla-names-oracles-larry-ellison-walgreens-executive-to-board-as-part-of-sec-settlement/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Techcrunch+%28TechCrunch%29 under the title “Tesla names Oracle’s Larry Ellison, Walgreens executive to board as part of SEC settlement”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.