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Elon Musk

Elon Musk and Tesla Have Outmaneuvered the SEC

Tesla has outsmarted the Securities and Exchange Commission because Larry Ellison and Kathleen Wilson-Thompson got appointed to its board as reported by management expert Jeffrey Sonnenfeld on CNBC on Friday.

The electric-car company scheduled appointments on Friday to abide by SEC.

“The SEC has been had on this one,” said Sonnenfeld, senior associate dean at the Yale School of Management and a CNBC contributor.

Tesla and CEO Elon Musk decided to appoint a new chairman and two independent board members in September after the SEC accused Musk of tricking investors because of a tweet about taking the company private at $420 a share.

Sonnenfeld called Ellison, the co-founder and executive chairman of Oracle, a “clone” of Musk.

“He’s a genius, knows technology, self-made guy and very articulate. But he’s a pretty angry guy. Hair-trigger sensitivity to criticisms, loves to lash out at analysts,” he said on “Closing Bell”.

In October, Ellison claimed to be close friend with Musk and has defended him against ongoing criticism of his behavior. What stirred the pot even more after that tweet was Musk seeming to be smoking pot on a podcast in September.

Ellison is also a very big investor in Tesla. He owns 3 million shares of its stock, as reported by company spokesperson.

Sonnenfeld said Musk “has brilliantly outmaneuvered” the SEC because he picked somebody who can really very effectively run cover for him and protect him. “This is not a guy who is going to push for vetting the tweets,” he said.

When a Tesla spokesperson was asked to say something about Sonnenfeld’s remarks, they referred to other analyst comments, for example Wedbush Securities’ Dan Ives. On Friday, Ivas said that the appointments were a huge step forward.

Ellison “could help channel Musk’s energy and passion into positives going forward thus moving further away from the ‘going private tweetstorm’ from a few months ago, which continues to be a lingering overhang on the name,” Ives wrote in a note to clients.

Oracle did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Tesla shares closed 5.6 percent higher on Friday.

The Muskette
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