Tesla Taps New Board Members as Part of SEC Deal

FILE – In this Oct. 2, 2012 file photo, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison gestures while giving a keynote address at Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco. Tesla is naming Ellison and an executive from Walgreens to its board as part of a settlement with U.S. regulators who demanded more oversight of CEO Elon Musk. The company said Friday, Dec. 28, 2018, that Ellison and Kathleen Wilson-Thompson are the new independent directors, effective immediately. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

MANHATTAN (CN) – Tesla appointed billionaire Oracle founder Larry Ellison and an executive from Walgreens to its board Friday as part of a settlement with U.S. securities regulators who want tighter oversight of CEO Elon Musk following his misleading “$420” tweets earlier this year.

The company said this morning that Ellison and Kathleen Wilson-Thompson are the new independent directors, effective immediately.

In October, the SEC announced that Musk and Tesla agreed to each pay $20 million to settle securities fraud charges for tweeting in August that he had the financing to take Tesla private for $420 a share, though he had nothing of the kind.

The electric car and solar panel company agreed to pay $20 million for failing to have required disclosure controls and procedures relating to Musk’s tweets.

Musk also agreed to resign as Tesla chairman for three years as part of the SEC settlement.

Tesla’s board replaced Musk as chairman with Australian telecommunications executive Robyn Denholm. 

The appointment of the two new board members, who each join as independent directors, was also requirement of the agreement reached with the SEC in October, in order to “establish a new committee of independent directors and put in place additional controls and procedures to oversee Musk’s communications,” the SEC said in a statement.

As executive chairman, chief technology officer and the founder of Oracle, Ellison ranks as one of the richest men in the world and already purchased 3 million shares of Tesla stock earlier this year.

Oracle, headquartered in Redwood Shores, California, is a Fortune 100 company that specializes in selling computer technology, including cloud-based systems and its own database management systems.

Ellison, 74, is estimated to be worth more than $55 billion. 

Wilson-Thompson, 60, spent 17 years at Kellogg and is currently an executive with Walgreens Boots Alliance.

Tesla’s Board of Directors lauded the pair in a statement: “In Larry and Kathleen, we have added a preeminent entrepreneur and a human resources leader, both of whom have a passion for sustainable energy.”

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