Tesla stock (NASDAQ:TSLA) has taken a beating this year, and it has been made more painful due to CEO Elon Musk’s acquisition of social media company Twitter. Amidst reports that Musk’s bankers and advisers are considering the idea of replacing some of the CEO’s high-interest Twitter debt with new margin loans backed by TSLA stock, some of the company’s retail shareholders are unsurprisingly split.
Elon Musk has noted in the past that he values Tesla’s retail investors, so much so that he noted that the company’s retail shareholders actually understand the EV maker better than Wall Street at times. This is among the reasons why Tesla retail investors banded together last month to push for a TSLA share buyback. Backers of the initiative include billionaire Leo KoGuan, who is believed to be Tesla’s third-largest individual shareholder.
Tesla shares have continued to feel pressure this week, and on Wednedsay, KoGuan reiterated his argument that it is imperative for Tesla to initiate a stock buyback now. Other notable bulls, such as Wall Street veteran and the Managing Partner of The Future Fund LLC Gary Black, on the other hand, lamented Tesla’s continued lack of communication. Tesla’s lack of a PR has resulted in narratives such as Tesla China’s alleged demand issues spreading without much pushback from the EV maker.
Amidst these circumstances, longtime TSLA bull Ross Gerber of Gerber Kawasaki, who has defended the EV maker against its most ardent bears for years, suggested that it’s time Tesla investors actually had a voice on the company’s Board of Directors. In a later comment, KoGuan suggested that either Gerber or Black may be good choices to represent retail shareholders on Tesla’s Board.
Seemingly echoing Elon Musk’s “vox populi” stance, Managing Partner at Good Soil Investment Management Matt Smith later posted a quick Twitter poll asking the Tesla community if it would support a shareholder resolution to add a voice representing retail investors to the Tesla Board of Directors. As of writing, the results of the poll were overwhelmingly in favor of the proposal, with 50.9% of the votes being “Yes” and 32% being “No.”
It should be noted that not all Tesla bulls have soured in their sentiments toward Elon Musk and Tesla’s Board of Directors. Numerous longtime Tesla retail investors on Twitter have also taken an opposing stance, arguing that Elon Musk and Tesla’s Board of Directors know what they are doing and they want the best for the company and its shareholders.
Disclosure: I am long Tesla.
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