Tesla adds billionaire Larry Ellison, Walgreens exec to board
After running afoul of US regulators, Tesla is adding two experienced voices to its board.
Tesla appointed Oracle founder Larry Ellison and Kathleen Wilson-Thompson, Walgreens’ HR chief, to its board of directors, the company said on Friday.
Ellison remains executive chairman and chief technology officer of Oracle (ORCL). He bought 3 million shares of Tesla earlier this year. Like Musk, Ellison is known for his aggressive competitive tactics and eccentric lifestyle. Ellison owns a private island and competes in the America’s Cup yacht race.
Wilson-Thompson is the executive vice president and global chief human resources officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA). She was a longtime Kellogg’s executive prior to Walgreens.
“In Larry and Kathleen, we have added a preeminent entrepreneur and a human resources leader, both of whom have a passion for sustainable energy,” Tesla’s board of directors said in the filing.
Tesla’s (TSLA) stock rose 3% early Friday after the announcement.
The appointments cap off a tumultuous year for Tesla and its founder and CEO Elon Musk. They are part of a recent settlement agreement between Musk and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The SEC filed a lawsuit against Musk earlier this year, claiming Musk misled investors when he tweeted that he had secured funding to take Tesla private at $420 a share. That tweet initially sent the company’s stock soaring. He hadn’t secured the funding, the SEC said.
Musk agreed to step down as chairman of Tesla and pay a $20 million fine in a deal to settle the charges. Tesla also agreed to appoint two new independent directors to its board and establish a committee to oversee Musk’s communications. Tesla said it would firm up its oversight of Musk’s social media use by pre-approving posts that may contain information that is “material” to Tesla’s shareholders.
Under the settlement, Musk can’t seek reelection as chairman for three years, though he is permitted to remain a board member. Musk remains CEO of the company he co-founded. Musk slammed the SEC earlier this month but said he is abiding by the terms of his settlement deal “because I respect the justice system.”
Last month, the company named Robyn Denholm, a Tesla board member and veteran of several tech firms, chairman of the board. Ellison and Wilson-Thompson will join the revamped board.