Tesla Inc. shareholders elected former company executive JB Straubel to the automaker’s board of directors, despite a proxy adviser’s assertion that he hasn’t been gone long enough to be considered independent.
In announcing the preliminary vote tally Tuesday at the company’s annual meeting, Tesla said Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk and Chairwoman Robyn Denholm were also reelected to the board. Straubel’s election was met with applause from shareholders attending the meeting in Austin.
Straubel, founder and CEO of Redwood Materials, was Tesla’s longtime chief technology officer before leaving that role in 2019. He replaces Hiromichi Mizuno, who is stepping down after his three-year term. Proxy adviser Glass Lewis had urged investors to vote against Straubel’s nomination.
Tesla said stockholders rejected a proposal from investor Karen Róbertsdóttir, who urged the board to prepare and maintain a publicly disclosed key-person risk report. Her proposal was the only one from a shareholder that made it onto Tesla’s proxy statement this year.
Investors also rejected a floor proposal from Courtney Wicks, executive director of Investor Advocates for Social Justice, which represents faith-based investors on issues like human rights, climate justice and racial equity.
The group asked investors to require that Tesla’s board issue a report describing if and how the company plans to eradicate child labour from its cobalt supply chain.
Musk said at the meeting that Tesla will facilitate a third-party audit of its supply of the material.