Tesla nominates former CTO JB Straubel to board

FILE PHOTO: A logo of Tesla Motors on an electric car model is seen outside a showroom in New York June 28, 2010. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

(Reuters) -Tesla Inc on Thursday nominated former Chief Technology Officer JB Straubel to the electric-vehicle maker's board.

The company made a proxy filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission listing four Tesla proposals and one from a shareholder regarding reporting on key-person risk.

Straubel joined Tesla in 2004 and spent 14 years as the chief technology officer. He has been credited with Tesla's battery cell design and also led the construction and concept of Gigafactory Nevada and the production of Model 3.

The board recommended to vote against the key-person risk report, which would potentially lay out concerns that the company relies too heavily on CEO Elon Musk and does not have a replacement.

Wall Street analysts have said that Musk's acquisition and leadership of Twitter, which he bought for $44 billion last year, could stretch the billionaire thin.

"Adopting this proposal would cause unnecessary competitive harm to Tesla and undermine our efforts to recruit and retain management," the board said in its opposing statement.

James Murdoch, a Tesla director, testified in court in November that Musk has in the last few months identified someone as a potential successor to head the electric carmaker, without naming the potential successor.

The 2023 annual meeting of stockholders will be held on May 16.

If elected, Straubel would succeed Hiromichi Mizuno, who will not stand for re-election.

(Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin in San Francisco and Nivedita Balu and Akash Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Devika Syamnath)

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