Tesla appoints new board members, James Murdoch and Linda Johnson

Tesla appoints new board members, James Murdoch and Linda Johnson

Ross1 | 17/07/2017

Murdoch. Oh dear.

bryandbaker | 17/07/2017

Man, pretty disappointing. Talk about a deal with the devil. Total smarm.

SamO | 17/07/2017

Side benefit, no more bad stories on Fox.

carlk | 17/07/2017

First female and first African-American Tesla board member. That is good.

carlk | 17/07/2017

First female and first African-American Tesla board member. That is good. | 17/07/2017

A better, individual, choice would have been me.

lar_lef | 17/07/2017

Lilbean or Phillygal or both.

Remnant | 17/07/2017

@El Mirio (OP, July 17, 2017)

<< Tesla appoints new board members, James Murdoch and Linda Johnson >>

Perfect, ship them both to Mars, on the pioneer voyage to that planet, and give them 20 days to get preliminary data on the habitability of that place, then return.

If their brains have not been cooked by the cosmic radiation of the travel to and from Mars, they would have major contributions to the colonization of that planet.

lilbean | 17/07/2017


Scuffers | 18/07/2017


that just about sums it up for me too...

Ross1 | 18/07/2017

I suppose you could say Australia now has a seat on the board.
What are the nationalities of the rest of the Board, anyone know?

sp_tesla | 18/07/2017

Genius move: Free advertising (TM stories on fox news) will result in new pool of conservative customers.

SO | 18/07/2017

Friends close. Enemies closer.

Neech | 18/07/2017

Wasn't James implicated in the phone hacking scandal for their tabloid in Great Britain. WTH, I hope Elon knows what he is doing with this pick.

sp_tesla | 18/07/2017

FOX news breaking story: Drive american best EV & watch all your muscle car friends in the rear mirror.

Chris_C | 18/07/2017

I can't, in good conscience, puchase a vehicle from a company with James Murdoch on the board. I'll not be turing my Model3 reservation into a purchase if he is still there when it is my turn in the queue.

lilbean | 18/07/2017

@Chris_C, Thank you for your post. I had no idea who this guys was until your post compelled me to research him. Yikes.

Remnant | 18/07/2017

@Chris_C (July 18, 2017)

<< I can't, in good conscience, puchase a vehicle from a company with James Murdoch on the board. >>

Will you please explain the relationship between MΞ and James Murdoch?

Dramsey | 18/07/2017

“I can't, in good conscience, puchase a vehicle from a company with James Murdoch on the board.”

Don’t see any movies produced by Fox either, right? Too bad...the Marvel stuff is pretty awesome.

SamO | 18/07/2017

Stupid to punish Tesla because the "liberal" Murdoch becomes a board member?

Same camp that dumped Tesla when Musk tried to convince Trump to stay in the climate accord.

SCCRENDO | 18/07/2017

I buy Tesla because of their mission. I have no idea what Elon was thinking by appointing Murdoch. Perhaps this will become clearer in time. As long as Tesla continues to promote the environment and produce cool cars I'm on board. Hopefully this is not a change in direction.

SCCRENDO | 18/07/2017

Perhaps this will give perspective
Tesla has someone watching them now
Via #CNNMoneyStream

SCCRENDO | 18/07/2017

And perhaps some conservatives understand climate change? There is hope.

Chris_C | 19/07/2017


I'm not punishing Tesla, I'm the one that doesn't get the car I've had a deposit down for since day 1! Also, weren't people right about Trump?

I also don't like being referred to as a "camp". In the UK, where I am from, the Murdoch Family, "liberal" James included, are probably hated more than Trump and caused a lot of problems for a lot of people. It would be nice if Elon would explain the appointment of such a divisive character.

SamO | 19/07/2017


First: I share your anger toward the Murdoch family especially their invasions of privacy. The Fox Networks have done more to undermine democracy in the U.S. and have supported various disinformation campaigns powered by willful ignorance.


Fox now has a SINGLE reason to be honest about renewable energy. Not just cars, but solar panels and batteries have an equal footing in a conversation on many influential networks. In the U.S. (and perhaps U.K.), Fox News becoming neutral/positive will do more for the "acceleration of the advent of sustainable transportation" than almost any other single act.

No more fluff pieces for National Dealer Association that have passed laws banning Tesla, on Fox. No more mindless FUD pieces by oil/gas/coal representatives. It's a bridge to the Conservative minds and an independent view into the operations of Tesla Motors for 40% of the population that is actively hostile when they hear "Tesla."

Now there is positive for renewable energy in every market covered by a Murdoch disinformation campaign.

Let me ask you a "serious" question: Do you care about accelerating sustainable transportation or driving a car to make a statement?

Regarding Elon's continued participation in the Presidential Counsel, doesn't it speak to doing everything in your power that you wade into VERY hostile territory for many months to publicly advocate for the Paris Accords. For renewable energy. His departure set limits to the end of participating in a process where the outcome is counter-factual.

In the alternative, if he'd left earlier then he could be blamed for not being the LONE voice from renewable to advocate for Trump to remain in the Accord. :-)

Finally, Tesla has added two COMMUNICATIONS executives. This is an area that Tesla should improve.

carlk | 19/07/2017

From Wiki "Kathryn (Mudoch's wife) works for the Clinton Climate Initiative, a charitable foundation set up by the former US president, Bill Clinton in 2006.[9] In 2013, they launched Quadrivium Foundation.[33]". It may not be what we think it is.

Chris_C | 19/07/2017


I drive a Nissan LEAF and my wife drives a BMW i3, do you think we "care about accelerating sustainable transportation"? What a horrible question to ask.

If you "shared my anger" toward the Murdoch family, you would not be finding positives in what is a very bad appointment.

SamO | 19/07/2017

First, Why is it "horrible to ask?"

Second, Both Nissan and BMW sell 99% gas cars. How can you support those companies by helping them cover up their environmental crimes?

Now, I don't actually believe that, but you see how this can be turned around on anything?

You care about your parochial concerns, while Tesla cares about advancing sustainable transportation and energy by 10 years.

SO | 19/07/2017

@Samo +1

Many shareholders complained that Tesla only had "close ties" with Elon. The Murdoch pick appears to be exactly what the shareholders wanted.

It will be interesting to see if the Murdoch pick help make Fox News a bit less hostile towards Tesla.

As far as people being right about Trump, it's still good Elon tried. Proving the point carries much more weight than just saying "I know I'm right". (Just like in a court of law.)

Chris_C | 19/07/2017


It is horrible to ask because you imply that one person has more right to a Tesla than another.

Anyway, it is clear that nothing bad can be said about Tesla here, so I shall leave you to your views.

SamO | 19/07/2017

Elon had to optimize the chances for US to stay in Paris Accord. Staying in increased the chances, but ultimately, didn't change Trump's mind.

I'm glad he tried to optimize chances of success.

I hope Fox News is less hostile. Again, optimize chance of success does not guarantee outcomes.

Tropopause | 19/07/2017

Everything evolves, even FOX News.

SCCRENDO | 19/07/2017

Fox will now conduct environmentally clean sexual harassment.

Chris_C | 20/07/2017

Even as we speak, Fox are trying to push through a takeover of Sky in the UK, urging ministers to forgo proper scrutiny. James is named in the article. These bullying tactics are typical of the Murdoch family when operating in the UK and completely undermine our democracy.

Dramsey | 20/07/2017

well, according to the quoted Tesla press release in the linked article in the OP:

“James has been instrumental in the company’s robust social impact initiatives, including its decade-long leadership on environmental sustainability. James and his wife, Kathryn Murdoch, are founders of a family foundation, Quadrivium, which supports initiatives involving natural resources, science, civic life, childhood health, and equal opportunity.”

So, either Tesla’s telling the truth, and Murdoch really is a good board pick, or Tesla’s a lying corporate weasel like so many other companies.

Unless you’d argue that Tesla’s press release is just self-serving BS like the press releases of other companies.

SamO | 20/07/2017


And today Boring Company has (verbal) approval to build 29 minute DC to NYC tunnel.

Ross1 | 23/07/2017

Aussie has two directors on the Tesla Board.

And the 2 new ones represent Publishing interests.

Directors' experience

James Murdoch, 44, was CEO of News International when the News Corp. division was embroiled in a phone-hacking scandal in 2011. He leads Fox with his brother Lachlan, who is executive co-chairman, and their father Rupert. Their biggest focus now is trying to complete the takeover of Sky Plc, after a failed attempt six years ago.

Johnson Rice is chairman and CEO of both Johnson Publishing and and Fashion Fair Cosmetics. She's a director for Omnicom Group and GrubHub and has served previously on boards of companies including Bausch & Lomb, Quaker Oats and Kimberly-Clark Corp.

Tesla's board had been comprised of Musk, his brother, Kimbal Musk; Gracias, the founder of a private-equity firm and a director at Musk's rocket company SpaceX; Ira Ehrenpreis, a venture capitalist and SpaceX investor; Brad Buss, a former SolarCity chief financial officer; Steve Jurvetson, a venture investor and SpaceX director; and Robyn Denholm, the chief operating officer of Telstra Corp., Australia's largest telecommunications company.


blue adept | 30/07/2017

I would be EXTREMELY leery of any efforts by shareholders (even if it is from a seemingly innocuous pensioners fund/trust fund as the wolf is often fond of wearing sheep's clothing) to push Tesla Motors into adding more board members as that expresses a desire to either exert an influence/a larger influence over the goings on of the company, or plumb it for inside/proprietary information, nothing more (as a history of countless boardroom shenanigans have demonstrated), despite whatever excuse they might've given.

I'd keep a VERY warily close eye on them indeed.

sashton | 30/07/2017

I too will have to cancel my M3 slot if Murdoch is still there when the order firms up. I was having second thoughts when the M3 wasn't a hatchback but decided to suck it in and stay. Now it may have to be a Bolt/Ampera-e.

SO | 30/07/2017

@sashton - LOL - because GM's board has really been so much better at advancing the electric car mission.

Good grief.

SamO | 30/07/2017


sashton | 30/07/2017

@SO No idea about the GM board but 1) I don't think there is a Murdoch there and 2) I've had a Volt for five years now and it hasn't missed a beat (ok it handles like a bucket in a high sea and obviously wasn't designed to go round corners) but I can give the keys to my wife and she would never know it wasn't a standard car.
Maybe you don't quite understand how hated that man is in the UK.
PS we don't receive the Fox comedy channel here but I've seen excerpts and have never quite seen the humour.

SO | 30/07/2017

Suit yourself.

vpoz | 30/07/2017

Board appointees are supposed to enhance the reputation of a company. Murdoch does not enhance Tesla reputation, he positively damages it.
I would worry about a "anything that helps Tesla bottom line, regardless of how dubiously on the edge of legality" attitude that he may bring to Tesla board discussions, and hence Tesla decision making and customer facing practice.
Not impressed.

Mike83 | 30/07/2017
vp09 | 30/07/2017

Great analysis SamO. Well stated and well thought out. I totally agree.