INTERNATIONAL - Tesla board has named a special committee of three directors to negotiate with chief executive Elon Musk on taking the electric car maker private, although it said it was yet to see a firm offer from him.
The committee, made up of Tesla directors Brad Buss, Robyn Denholm and Linda Johnson Rice, will wade into a deal that has puzzled Wall Street since the surprise announcement by Musk on Twitter last week.
The following is a snapshot of the nine members on Tesla’s board.
Elon Musk is Tesla’s chief executive and co-founder. He owns a roughly 20 percent stake in Tesla. He a lso serves as CEO of SpaceX.
Brad Buss served as the chief financial officer of solar panel installer SolarCity for two years before retiring in 2016. Tesla bought SolarCity that year. Buss was also the CFO of Cypress Semiconductor.
Ira Ehrenpreis is the founder and managing partner of venture capital firm DBL Partners, which is an investor in Tesla, according to its website.
Ehrenpreis bagged the first Model 3 car, having been the first to put down a deposit, but later gifted it to Musk.
Antonio Gracias lead independent director at Tesla since 2010. He is the founder and chief executive of Valor Equity Partners. In May this year, influential proxy adviser ISS recommended that investors vote against his election to the board and called him a non-independent director.
Robyn Denholm is the first woman to join Tesla’s board. Denholm is chief operations officer of telecom firm Telstra and the ex-CFO of network gear maker Juniper Networks.
James Murdoch is the chairman of Sky Plc and the CEO of Twenty-First Century Fox. ISS in May recommended that investors vote against his election to the board as he is “overboarded” - serving on several other boards. ISS also called him a non-independent director, despite Tesla considering him an independent member.
Steve Jurvetson is the co-founder of Silicon Valley venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson. He resigned from DFJ in November 2017, following allegations of sexual harassment against him. He has been on a leave of absence from Tesla’s board since then.
Kimbal Musk, is Elon Musk’s brother and the co-founder of the restaurant chain The Kitchen. Kimbal has been criticised for his lack of experience in the auto industry, as well as his role as an independent director at burrito chain Chipotle, which has faced major health and food safety issues.
Linda Rice, is the First African-American and second woman to join Tesla’s board. She is the current chairperson of Johnson Publishing Co, which previously owned Ebony and Jet magazines.