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Funds controlled by BlackRock Inc voted in favor of a quashed proposal to separate Elon Musk’s chairman and CEO roles at Tesla at the EV maker’s shareholders’ meeting back in June, over Tesla’s board recommendation that shareholders vote against, BlackRock filings with the SEC showed on Thursday.
BlackRock funds are among the top ten institutional shareholders at Tesla, and according to Thomson Reuters data compiled from filings, funds under BlackRock’s control hold almost 6.5 million of Tesla’s 170 million shares.
At the meeting in June, Tesla’s shareholders were asked to vote on a proposal by one stockholder that the company’s chair be an independent director, not Elon Musk, who has been chairman since 2004 and is also the chief executive officer. Tesla’s board, however, recommended that shareholders voted against that proposal, arguing that “the Company’s success to date would not have been possible if the Board was led by another director lacking Elon Musk’s day-to-day exposure to the Company’s business.”
The majority of Tesla shareholders shot down the proposal to separate Elon Musk’s roles at Tesla “by a wide margin”, the company’s General Counsel Todd Maron said at the meeting.
Another institutional investor—albeit with a much smaller stake—the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, Norway’s US$1-trillion Government Pension Fund Global, was also in the minority that voted for replacing Musk as chairman.
Musk has recently drawn a lot of attention after saying he would take Tesla private, and then backtracking on that proposal two weeks later.
Related: Airlines Are Suspending Flights Because Fuel Is Too Expensive
Wall Street and investors were shocked by Musk’s tweet that he would take Tesla private at $420 a share, sparking speculation whether the funding for doing so is really ‘secured’ as he said in his tweet, and who would step in to raise the funding.
“Although the majority of shareholders I spoke to said they would remain with Tesla if we went private, the sentiment, in a nutshell, was ‘please don’t do this,’” Musk said last week.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.