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Jan2

Tesla Board Gains Two Watchdogs As Musk Seeks a Way Out of His Cave Mess

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Elon Musk

Tesla’s nine-member board now numbers eleven, with many shareholders hoping that the addition of two independent directors — a key directive of Tesla’s SEC settlement — helps keep a lid on CEO Elon Musk’s stock-rocking shenanigans.

Whether or not the two new members can actually do this remains to be seen. Musk continued antagonizing the Securities and Exchange Commission even after agreeing to the settlement that saw him removed as chairman, and he insists no one’s vetting his tweets. Speaking of ill-considered tweets, Musk’s lawyers claim the British cave diver suing Musk for defamation should just let it go.

Joining the board are Larry Ellison, co-founder of Oracle Corp., and Kathleen Wilson-Thompson, global PR chief for Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc., Automotive News reports. The two will take their place at a table roundly viewed as being stocked with staunch Musk lapdogs loyalists — members who stuck by their CEO after his infamous go-private tweet of August 7th.

Many suggest that Ellison may be no different. In October, Ellison told an audience, “I’m very close friends with Elon Musk and I’m a big investor in Tesla.”

As part of the SEC settlement, which cost Tesla and Musk $20 million apiece, Musk transferred his chairman title to telecom exec and Tesla board member Robyn Denholm in November. He’s not allowed to wear that hat again for three years.

In a 60 Minutes interview airing earlier this month, Musk suggested his power remained undiluted and downplayed his influence on the company’s stock.

Musk’s capricious tweets might have earned him a slapdown from the U.S. securities regulator, but it also brought him perhaps the most avoidable lawsuit in history. Repeatedly, Musk tweeted that British diver Vernon Unsworth — a key figure in this year’s cave rescue of a trapped Thai soccer team — was a pedophile, providing no evidence for the claim. You’ll recall that this came after Unsworth suggested Musk should stick his homemade submarine where the sun don’t shine. Like a robin tugging a squirming worm from the fresh spring soil, Musk kept up the attacks, at one point daring Unsworth to sue him.

Unsworth filed suit in September, accusing Musk of libel and slander. He’s seeking at least $75,000 in damages.

On Wednesday, Musk’s lawyers filed a motion to dismiss the suit, essentially claiming that Twitter is silly and people say dumb things on it. And besides, no one took Musk seriously. According to CNBC, Musk’s legal representation said the CEO took to Twitter (“a social networking website infamous for invective and hyperbole”) to respond to Unsworth’s “indefensible and baseless attacks.”

Unsworth’s lawyer rejects this argument, claiming he expects the case to move forward.

[Image: Tesla]

– Tesla Board Gains Two Watchdogs As Musk Seeks a Way Out of His Cave Mess –

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