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CAPinsideBörse2 MIN READING TIME2018-11-08

Robyn Denholm will control Elon Musk in the future

With Robyn Denholm Tesla gets a new head of the board. She replaces Elon Musk, who remains the company boss but has to accept a new supervisory body. He used to fill that position himself, so he was freer in his decisions. The reason for this restructuring is a dispute with the American stock market supervision. Musk had announced in a tweet at short notice that he wants to buy back all the shares on the market. This news made the prices rise significantly. After a short time he withdrew this message again, which led to the regulators to turn on and examine the business practices in more detail.

Robyn Denholm is a familiar face to insiders. She has been a member of the Tesla Board of Directors since 2014 and therefore knows the company very well. She replaces the founder of the company, thus ensuring that there is much more control and that he can no longer decide all things on his own. Until now, he rarely needed to justify himself, so changes in strategy were easy for him. The entire corporate structure was tailored to his person. Now Musk can not supervise himself anymore, he has the duty to deny Denholm. Thus, he must now compromise if the Supervisory Board disagrees with his ideas. Nevertheless, he remains CEO.


Why was this decision made?

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was responsible for ensuring that this replacement took place. Musk's approach was no longer accepted by the decision-makers. They saw too few influence possibilities of other persons within the group. After a Twitter message in which he announced a stock market retreat and then moved away again from this idea, the authority raised in federal court in Manhattan indictment. Both parties agreed out of court. The deal stipulates that Musk will resign from the post of chief executive officer for three years and hand it over to another person.


The contentious statements in detail and their effects

In August, the company founder wrote a short message stating that he wants to buy back all the shares in free trading at a price of $ 420 apiece. As a result, Tesla would have disappeared from the stock markets, as Musk itself would have again had all the shares. After two weeks, he reconsidered and stopped the plans he had previously spread. A strong increase in value was the result of the first announcement, which is why market participants lost money, which relied on the securities to lose value in the near future. Many investors were extremely angry and voiced the suspicion that he wanted to manipulate the course of the papers in this way. They felt betrayed and therefore turned to the SEC. It is not ruled out that the speculators will file a class action and demand compensation for the losses incurred.


Board members are stronger in the US than in Germany

In US corporations, the board of directors has other powers in addition to the control function, which make it powerful. It can more easily influence the company strategy and therefore change the overall direction. Since the Tesla board of directors never opposed the company owner, he had much more freedom. Risky decisions were almost not discussed, but implemented immediately.


Investors pointed out early on this issue at Tesla and therefore called for the autonomy of the Council so that it can react independently and without bias. The current decision has created a powerful antipode, which is a new challenge for Elon Musk. He is now curtailed in his freedom of choice and must bow to the decisions of this committee. For example, members have decided that there must be internal control over the content prior to the distribution of a tweet.