Senator Warren urges SEC to investigate Tesla over board independence

(Reuters) -U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren in a letter on Thursday urged the Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate whether Tesla violated regulations over board independence at public companies.

“New evidence has emerged in recent months that deepen my concerns that Tesla’s board lacks independence from Mr. Musk, who uses his control over the board for his personal benefits,” Senator Warren said in the letter to SEC Chair Gary Gensler.

The Democrat alleged the board has failed to address possible misappropriation of Tesla resources and conflicts of interest arising from Musk’s dual role at Tesla and Twitter, now X.

She described Musk’s $56 billion pay package as “unfathomable”.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

“Senator Karen’s main economic & tax advisor is SBF’s (Sam Bankman Fried, who was the chief of collapsed crytocurrency firm FTX) Dad. I suspect some of this is coming from him,” Musk said in a post on social network X.

Warren also highlighted that the board took no action to address shareholder concerns after Musk threatened earlier this year to divert AI product development away from Tesla unless he had about 25% voting control at the company.

(Reporting by Akash Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva and Shinjini Ganguli)

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