Elon Musk defends Tesla's board of directors against critics who say it isn't doing enough to hold him accountable to shareholders

  • Tesla CEOElon Musk defended the company’s board of directors on Friday via Twitter.
  • “The Tesla board has done incredible work overseeing the largest value creation in the auto industry in 100+ years, despite many setbacks. Tesla owes its very existence to this board!” Musk said via Twitter in response to a Forbes article that questioned the board’s performance.
  • Questions have been raised about the board’s independence and effectiveness, as many board members have longtime relationships with Musk and have invested in his other companies.

TeslaCEO Elon Musk defended the company’s board of directors on Friday via Twitter.

“The Tesla board has done incredible work overseeing the largest value creation in the auto industry in 100+ years, despite many setbacks. Tesla owes its very existence to this board!” Musk said in response to a Forbes article that questioned the board’s performance.

Questions have been raised about the board’s independence and effectiveness, as many board members have longtime relationships with Musk and have invested in his other companies. Musk’s brother, Kimbal, is also on the board.

While the board’s public statements have indicated its support of Musk, two New York Times reports have suggested that some of Musk’s behaviour has concerned the board.

According to the Times, some board members were surprised by Musk’s decision to tweet in early August that he was considering taking Tesla private and had secured the funding for such a move, despite questions that later emerged about the amount of funding Musk had locked down at the time of the tweet. The tweet and other statements about potentially converting Tesla into a private company have resulted in lawsuits from shareholders and reportedly led to an investigation from the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Times has also reported that some board members are concerned about Musk’s use of Ambien, which they reportedly said on some occasions has helped lead Musk to use Twitter late at night instead of putting him to sleep.

Business Insider’s Troy Wolverton wrote last week that Tesla’s board of directors “seems to be failing spectacularly” at defending the interests of the company’s shareholders. This year, Musk has drawn criticism for joking about Tesla going bankrupt, fighting with the NTSB, sparring with analysts, lashing out at journalists, accusing a British diver of being a pedophile without evidence, and smoking marijuana in a filmed interview, in addition to his statements about taking Tesla private.


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