Daily Management Review

“Buy Ford”, Disgruntled Shareholders of Tesla Told By Elon Musk


“Buy Ford”, Disgruntled Shareholders of Tesla Told By Elon Musk
In order to "provide a critical check on possible dysfunctional group dynamics," addition of two new independent directors to the board of the luxury electric car maker, without ties to Chief Executive Elon Musk, has been urged by a group of Tesla Inc investors.
And possibly enraged by the step by the investors, a defiant Musk suggest the investors to buy stock in Ford Motor Co instead of Tesla through his Twitter account on Wednesday afternoon.
Tesla was urged to have all of its directors re-elected annually by five investment groups including the California State Teachers Retirement System, Hermes Equity Ownership Services and CtW Investment Group in a letter that was dated Monday.
"We expect that as companies make the transition to publicly-traded status, the governance structures and practices in place at the time of the IPO will evolve to align with the company's changing strategy," the letter reads. "However, Tesla's seven-member board is largely unchanged from its pre-IPO days."
Passing General Motors Co for the top spot, Tesla recently became the most valuable U.S. car company led by the enigmatic Musk. However, since thath day, there has been a fall in the market value of Tesla and ended up just shy of GM's market value. While GM's market value was $50.8 billion, the market cap of the Silicon Valley automaker was $50.3 billion as of Wednesday.
"This investor group should buy Ford stock," Musk posted on Twitter on Wednesday afternoon. "Their governance is amazing..."
While saying that "but this (investor) group has nothing to do with it (directors appointment)", Musk then said on Twitter that he would follow up soon on an earlier promise to appoint more independent directors.
As investors bet that Musk will revolutionize the automobile and energy industries, Tesla stock has surged 35 percent over the past month. However, in Wednesday's trading on Nasdaq, the shares closed down 3.8 percent at $296.84.
Brad Buss, who served as chief financial officer at SolarCity Corp, which the electric car maker acquired last year and Kimbal Musk, the CEO's brother, are among those who are on Tesla's board.
A 13 percent fall in Tesla's share price after Musk outlined it last June was prompted by the $2 billion stock deal for the money-losing installer of residential solar power systems.
The Palo Alto, California-based company is planning to quickly ramp up its factory to hit a production target of 500,000 cars per year in 2018 and is rushing to launch its mass-market Model 3 sedan in the second half of this year.
Missing its target of at least 80,000 cars sold, last year Tesla sold 76,230 vehicles. In comparison GM sold 10 million cars and Ford sold 6.7 million.

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