Tesla names independent board members in SEC settlement


NEW YORK (AP) — Tesla named two independent board members today as part of a settlement with U.S. regulators who demanded more oversight of CEO Elon Musk.

Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison and Kathleen Wilson-Thompson, an executive vice president at Walgreens Boots Alliance, join the board as independent directors, effective immediately.

Musk got into trouble with the Securities and Exchange Commission in early August when he said in a tweet that he had "funding secured" to take the electric car company private at $420 per share.

The SEC accused Musk of committing securities fraud, saying that the funding had not been secured and that he had duped investors who drove shares of Tesla up by 11 percent on the day of the tweet. Several weeks later, Musk said the go-private deal was off.

Regulators initially wanted to force Musk out of his job as CEO, but agreed to accept $20 million in penalties from both Musk and Tesla. Musk did agree to step down as chairman for at least three years, but acknowledged no wrong-doing.

Despite the agreement, Musk has continued to clash with regulators.

Just days after settling the case, Musk taunted the government via Twitter, referring to the SEC as the "Shortseller Enrichment Commission."

Musk has had a long-running feud with short sellers, a category of investors that have bet that the price of Tesla stock will fall.

Subscribe Today

Sign up for our email newsletter to receive daily news.

Want more? Click here to subscribe to either the Print or Digital Editions.