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29 Dec, 2018 11:05

Tesla stock surges after carmaker adds Larry Ellison to its board

Tesla stock surges after carmaker adds Larry Ellison to its board

Shares in electric carmaker Tesla jumped 5.6 percent after the company announced that Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison and Walgreens Boots Alliance executive Kathleen Wilson-Thompson will join its board.

According to Tesla, both Ellison, listed by Forbes magazine as the fifth wealthiest person in the US, and Wilson-Thompson were added to the board, effective Thursday. Ellison currently serves as executive chairman and chief technology officer of software giant Oracle, which he co-founded more than 40 years ago. Wilson-Thompson heads human resources at Dow component Wallgreens Boots Alliance WBA, the largest pharmacy and health company in the United States.

“In conducting a widespread search over the last few months, we sought to add independent directors with skills that would complement the current board's experience,” the company said. “In Larry and Kathleen, we have added a preeminent entrepreneur and a human resources leader, both of whom have a passion for sustainable energy.”

The step comes as part of a settlement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that had sued Tesla and its CEO Elon Musk for fraud over Musk’s tweets about taking the company private. Under the settlement, Musk agreed to step down as chairman of the board of directors of Tesla, and is banned from holding the position for three years. He also has to pay a $20 million fine, while Tesla agreed to pay the same amount for Musk's departure from the board and the naming of two new independent directors and a chairman.

The SEC launched the investigation after the Tesla CEO and founder tweeted in August that he had secured funding to take Tesla private at $420 a share. The tweets boosted Tesla stock by more than 10 percent. Musk also tweeted that the go-private issue was discussed with big investors, including buyout firm Silver Lake, investment bank Goldman Sachs and the Saudi Arabian government.

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