Tesla investors pen open letter asking for more CEO commitment

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk speaks with Lt. Gen. Richard Clark, Superintendent of the U.S. Air Force Academy, during the Ira C. Eaker Distinguished Speaker Presentation in the Academy's Arnold Hall on April 7, 2022 in Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Air Force photo by Trevor cokley)

To state that Elon Musk is a busy man would be an understatement. As the CEO of SpaceX, Tesla, and Twitter, Musk is always on the move. And that doesn’t even count the time he spends on side projects such as The Boring Company and Neuralink. 

For a number of Tesla investors, such a system is no longer preferable, and they have made their sentiments known through an open letter to the company’s Board of Directors. The group of investors included, among others, Amalgamated Bank, the New York City Comptroller’s Office, PensionDanmark, the Investor Advocates for Social Justice, and the Sisters of the Good Shepherd. 

“Corporate boards can and should intervene if a chief executive appears to be distracted or overly focused on other ventures. Yet, the Board has permitted Elon Musk to run multiple companies, leading to an inability to address the multiple strategic and competitive issues facing Tesla,” the letter read

In their letter, the shareholders argued that the Board should make sure that Tesla has a CEO that can work full time in the electric vehicle maker. The group also proposed that the Tesla Board should be overhauled so that directors with close ties to Elon Musk could be rolled off. The investors further argued that such a strategy is needed as Tesla is losing market share in the high-performance EV market, which legacy automakers are now populating. 

“Without a full-time CEO and a Board willing to provide meaningful oversight, we are concerned that Tesla will not be prepared to effectively navigate the increasingly competitive environment for EV sales, the evolving global regulatory landscape, shifting consumer preferences, ongoing supply chain challenges, and investors’ expectations,” the shareholders noted. 

This is not the only time that Elon Musk’s part-time position as Tesla CEO has been scrutinized. The topic also came up during a trial on Musk’s pay package last year. As per a comment from former Tesla board member Antonio Gracias, the Board has actually pondered the idea of finding someone else to fill in as CEO from time to time. They were, however, unsuccessful. 

“We couldn’t find anyone,” Gracias stated. 

Read the investors’ letter below. 

TSLA Investors Board Letter by Simon Alvarez on Scribd

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Tesla investors pen open letter asking for more CEO commitment
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