Tesla has filed a Form 8-K with the SEC, introducing a new rule on how Directors can be nominated to the Board.
Besides Elon Musk, perhaps no other part of the Tesla corporate structure has faced more criticism over the past year than the Board of Directors. Most notably, as Tesla stock plunged during the second half of last year, the Board faced increasing pressure to act but instead allowed CEO Elon Musk to continue his plans. Now, following numerous applications to the Board, Tesla has introduced a new rule regarding how Directors can be nominated to the Board.
The new rule change, initially spotted by Sawyer Merrit on Twitter, is part of a larger 8-K filing with the SEC in the United States. In it, Tesla explains how Board members can now be nominated and what requirements they must meet.
According to the 8-K filing, Tesla will now allow any shareholder or group of up to 20 investors, who own a minimum of 3% of Tesla’s outstanding shares and have done so for a minimum of 3 years, to nominate someone to the Board of Directors. These nominated Directors can constitute either 2 or 20% of the Board seats, whichever number is larger at the time of nomination.
It should be noted that this new Board member nomination process does not guarantee nominees a seat on the Board. Once nominated, after meeting the aforementioned criteria, the nominee then faces a vote of the shareholders, determining if they gain a seat. And while technically, there is no limit to the number of Board seats that Tesla could open; nominees would be constrained by the number of seats available under the 2-seat/20% rule.
This change to the Board comes not only when an increasing number of investors are looking to join but also during a time of significant political and public instability. Most recently, the Tesla Board was asked if Elon Musk’s controversial nature has put the brand at risk in eyes of consumers. Further, some government officials, again likely influenced by Elon Musk’s controversial nature, have even gone as far as questioning the Board’s ability or willingness to uphold its fiduciary responsibility.