For those who came in late, US regulators were rather miffed when Musk tweeted that he was considering taking the company private and had secured funding.
The fallout, which included the US Securities and Exchange Commission subsequently filing fraud charges against Musk for what it said was his “false and misleading” tweets, led some investors to call for stronger board oversight of Musk.
For some reason,t hey have suggested that Ellison, one of the world’s richest people, and a very good friend of Musk, is the person to get him to sling his hook. The Tame Apple Press think he is wonderful because he helped Steve Jobs turn around Apple in 1997.
Charles Elson, director of the corporate governance center at the University of Delaware, questioned adding a friend of Musk’s and another director with no experience at an industrial company like Tesla.
“Why would you put a friend (on the board) if the idea of the two independent directors were to be objective,” Elson said. “Investors who were hoping for two newly objective directors who could stand up to Mr. Musk would be rather disappointed by the choice.”
Under a court-approved agreement with the SEC, Musk agreed to pay a $20 million fine and step aside as Tesla’s chairman for three years to settle charges that could have forced his exit. Tesla also agreed to name the independent directors and a board committee to control Musk’s communications.
SEC officials could not be reached to comment on Friday, but Harvey Pitt, the agency’s former chairman, called the addition of Ellison a positive step.
“His personal investment in Tesla stock — said to be his largest personal investment outside of Oracle — means he will be focused on ensuring that Tesla develops profitable strategies,” Pitt said. “He also has the stature to stand up to Mr. Musk, should that become necessary.”
Ellison bought 3 million shares of Tesla earlier this year.
“I’m very close friends with Elon Musk, and I’m a big investor in Tesla”, Ellison, 74, said on a Ocober 26 conference call with analysts.
“This guy is landing rockets”, Ellison added about Musk, referring to his leadership of SpaceX. “He’s landing rockets on robot drone rafts in the ocean, and you’re saying he doesn’t know what he’s doing. Well, who else is landing a rocket?”