New York (CNN) A group of progressive Tesla shareholders want the company’s board to force CEO Elon Musk to focus more on one of his many jobs, running the EV automaker.
In a letter to Tesla’s board, the group says Musk is not devoting enough time and attention to the issues facing the company, including increased competition from electric vehicles from other automakers, and resolve issues important to the group, including allegations of a toxic work environment. at Tesla.
In addition to its role in You’re here (Musk also runs Twitter, SpaceX, The Boring Company and Neuralink, among others. )
“We each initially added Tesla to our portfolios because we saw Tesla as a true leader in producing products and services essential to our transition to a sustainable and green economy,” the letter reads. “Over time, however, we have become increasingly concerned with issues of governance and leadership within the company.”
Among the entities signing the letter are Amalgamated Bank, a union-owned bank, as well as Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, United Church Funds, Investor Advocates for Social Justice and the New York City Comptroller’s Office. The letter says the investors signing the letter own $1.5 billion worth of Tesla stock, which is well under 1% of Tesla stock.
By comparison, Musk owns or has options to buy about $118 billion worth of Tesla stock, which is 20% of the stock. Musk has a net worth of $175 billion, according to Forbes.
The letter alleges that Musk’s lack of focus at Tesla is causing problems for the company, such as a high staff turnover rate due to his work environment. But it doesn’t specify what should be done to focus on these issues.
“Tesla needs a board that will ensure the CEO is focused on solving his problems,” the letter said. “Because of the board’s inability to restrict the CEO’s outside engagements and ensure he is focused on solving the many challenges facing the business, we have lost confidence in its members.”
Ivan Frishberg, chief sustainability officer at Amalgamated Bank, said other investors were worried Musk could be distracted, particularly with his recent purchase of Twitter, as well as his ownership and management of SpaceX and a number of other companies. other companies.
Frishberg said the group is not advocating for Musk to be replaced at CEO.
“We are a Tesla investor,” he said. “In terms of governance, we would like the board room to become less clubby and more independent and responsive to investors.”
Musk now essentially works for Tesla for free, with no cash pay, and after receiving a final block of stock options from a 2018 salary package earlier this year, there are no options. to purchase additional shares that he may qualify for at this time.
Some analysts have said they expect, and advocate, Tesla to announce a new salary package for Musk to assure Wall Street that Tesla remains his top priority, despite his other CEO positions. But Frishberg opposed this idea.
“I don’t think throwing more money at the guy is the answer,” he said.