BlackRock voted against Elon Musk in Tesla’s AGM

Here is how major shareholders voted in Tesla’s Annual General Meeting when a proposal was put to a vote to split Elon Musk’s role as CEO and Chairmanship of Tesla Inc.

According to BlackRock’s filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, its managed funds voted against Elon Musk and preferred Tesla’s chairman to be an independent director. Although the proposal was defeated, it would not materially impact Musk’s standing as Tesla’s chief executive officer.

According to Tesla, votes in favor of the proposal were less than 17 million, while 86 millions shares voted against the proposal.

Corporate governance activists prefer the role of the chairman be different from that of the CEO so as to improve oversight.

Musk has come under pressure over Tesla’s spending plan following his August 7 tweet of wanting to take Tesla private, only to abandon by on August 24.

According to a statement by Tesla’s board, the company’s success “would not have been possible” without Musk’s “day-to-day exposure to the company’s business.”

“BlackRock’s approach to investment stewardship is driven by our fiduciary duties to our clients, the asset owners,” said BlackRock’s spokeswoman. “Our approach to engaging with companies and proxy voting activities is consistent with our commitment to drive long term shareholder value for our clients.”

BlackRock funds figure among the top 10 Tesla shareholders and together control nearly 6.5 million of Tesla’s 170 million shares.

BlackRock’s voting is consistent with its pattern of voting to give shareholders an equal vote on matters of governance. Filing data shows that it voted in favor of shareholder proposals at Facebook Inc and at Alphabet Inc.

Companies can be structured in a manner that gives some shareholders more powers than others regardless of how many shares they hold.

As per filing data, Vanguard Group Inc-managed funds voted for Musk and against the independent-chair proposal. Funds run by Fidelity Investments also sided with Tesla.

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Categories: Creativity, Entrepreneurship, HR & Organization, Strategy

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