Just under the wire of a deadline set by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Tesla announced two new independent directors Friday, naming Oracle founder Larry Ellison and Kathleen Wilson-Thompson, a Walgreens Boots Alliance executive, to its board.

The move is part of a settlement the electric vehicle company reached with the regulator in September after chief executive Elon Musk’s tweets about having “funding secured” for taking the company private. He reversed his plans just days later, causing Tesla’s stock price to plunge.

In Ellison, Tesla adds a fellow entrepreneur and billionaire with a celebrity profile who has a reputation as being one of high tech’s most hypercompetitive figures; Ellison has also been a sharp defender of Musk and is a big investor in Tesla. In an analyst meeting in October, the Oracle founder criticized the way Musk was covered in the media and revealed that his second-largest personal investment was in Tesla, according to a CNBC report.

Tesla’s board said Ellison purchased 3 million shares in Tesla earlier this year. Tesla shares were up more than 5 percent as of mid-afternoon Friday.

Wilson-Thompson, the global chief human resources officer at Walgreens Boots Alliance, previously spent 17 years at Kellogg and serves on the boards of Vulcan Materials Company and Ashland Global Holdings. "In Larry and Kathleen, we have added a preeminent entrepreneur and a human resources leader, both of whom have a passion for sustainable energy,” Tesla’s board said in a statement.

The news follows the company’s announcement in November that board member Robyn Denholm, an executive with an Australian telecommunications firm, would be named chairman. In addition to naming two new independent directors, the settlement also stripped Musk of the ability to serve as Tesla’s chair for three years and required the company to establish a new committee of independent directors and add controls over Musk’s communications.

The new directors increase the size of a board that has been criticized in the past as being too close to Musk, and brings to an end a hunt for new blood that governance advisers have suggested should include directors who have an independent streak and could serve as a coach to Musk’s behavior.

In its 2018 proxy, Tesla said only two of its directors — Musk and his brother, Kimbal — did not meet the independence standards as defined by Nasdaq. Yet Institutional Shareholder Services, the influential proxy adviser, said in a report earlier this year that it only considered five of Tesla’s then nine directors to be independent.

According to media reports, Ellison said in October that “I am very close friends to Elon Musk” and criticized journalists' coverage of Musk, making a reference to SpaceX, one of Musk’s other companies. "He’s landing rockets on robot drone rafts in the ocean. And you’re saying he doesn’t know what he’s doing. Well, who else is landing rockets? You ever land a rocket on a robot drone? Who are you?”

Some Tesla observers seemed encouraged by the news. “Larry Ellison is a rare peer to Elon Musk, given he built one of the world’s largest and most important technology companies,” said Loup Ventures managing partners Gene Munster and Doug Clinton in a blog post. “In many ways, Larry was ‘Elon’ before Elon was Elon. Or maybe Elon is the new Larry — the boldest of tech entrepreneurs. Either way, we see Ellison as someone that may be able to influence Musk when he veers into unhelpful or unhealthy territory.”

Others were more circumspect. Dieter Waizenegger, the executive director of CTW Investment Group, an activist group that works with union-sponsored pension funds, signed a letter with officials from several large public pension funds in November calling for a board “refreshment plan” and even more governance changes than the SEC settlement demanded.

He welcomed the naming of Wilson-Thompson, a human resources professional that could help with talent issues, but cited concerns about Oracle’s handling of shareholder agitation against Ellison’s compensation over several years. “He has the personality to match Elon,” said Waizenegger of Ellison. The open question, he said, will be “will he use it for the good of the company and not only for the good of Elon?”

A Tesla spokesperson said Ellison is independent from Musk and Tesla’s board under Nasdaq requirements and that Ellison’s investments align him with shareholders, as well as that the two have had only five in-person interactions over a number of years, all in a group setting, and do not socialize.

Friday also marks when the SEC required Tesla to have in place “mandatory procedures and controls to oversee all of Elon Musk’s communications regarding the company made in any format” and to preapprove any of those written communications that could contain information material to shareholders.

Earlier this month in a “60 Minutes" interview, Musk seemed to thumb his nose at the regulator, saying, “I do not respect the SEC” and that “I guess we might make some mistakes” and “nobody’s perfect” when asked how Tesla would know whether one of his tweets included material information unless someone was reading them all first. In the interview, he also said none of his tweets had been censored since the settlement and that "the only tweets that would have to be, say, reviewed would be if a tweet had a probability of causing a movement in the stock.”

In a statement following the interview, a Tesla spokeswoman said the settlement was “being complied with,” saying that included a policy “which technically needs to be in place by Dec. 28” requiring preapproval of communications that may include material information.

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