Ringo H.W. Chiu / AP Photo
Ringo H.W. Chiu / AP Photo


  • Tesla’s board of directors has formed a special committee to examine CEO Elon Musk’s preference to take the company private, according to a statement on the electric-car maker’s website.
  • Three independent board members – Brad Buss, Robyn Denholm, and Linda Johnson Rice – will sit on the special committee.
  • While Musk has not yet presented a formal proposal to take Tesla private, he will need the committee’s approval before such a move can occur.
  • Follow Tesla’s stock price in real-time here.

Tesla on Tuesday said its board of directors had convened a special committee to act on the company’s behalf as chief executive Elon Musk presses forward with his plan to take the electric-car maker private.

Two of the three special committee members – Brad Buss and Robyn Denholm – have backgrounds with Solar City, the energy company Tesla acquired for $2 billion in 2016. The third -Linda Johnson Rice – is the former chairman and CEO of Johnson Publishing in Chicago and the current CEO of Ebony Media.

Members of the board who have previously come under fire, like Kimbal Musk, Elon’s brother; the 21st Century Fox cochairman Lachlan Murdoch; and Steve Jurvetson, a venture capitalist who was ousted from his own firm over sexual-assault allegations, which he denied, are notably absent from the special committee.

Tesla also said the board has hired Latham & Watkins LLP, a legal firm based in Los Angeles, to assist with the process of going private. It also plans to hire an independent financial advisor.

“The special committee has the full power and authority of the Board of Directors to take any and all actions on behalf of the Board of Directors as it deems necessary to evaluate and negotiate a potential Going Private Transaction and alternatives to any transaction proposed by Mr. Musk,” Tesla said in a statement. The special committee has not received any formal proposal from Musk about taking the electric-car maker private.

Here’s what you need to know about the members of Tesla’s special committee


Robyn Denholm



Robyn Denholm is the chief operating and financial officer of Telstra Corp, the largest telecom company in Australia. She has served on Tesla’s board of directors since February 2017 following the merger with SolarCity, where she had been appointed to the board in November 2016.

“I am a car enthusiast and am passionate about innovation, so Tesla is the perfect board role for me,” she said in an interview in January. “I love being on the Tesla board as it marries many of the things I am passionate about, such as energy and technology.” Denholm also said she is on her third Tesla car.

She did not respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.

Linda Johnson Rice

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren


Linda Johnson Rice has served on Tesla’s board of directors since July 2017. She currently serves as the chief executive of Ebony Media, a magazine and brand that celebrates Black culture, that was founded by her father in 1945.

Johnson came under fire from the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Writers Union when she was appointed to Tesla’s board because Ebony allegedly failed to pay freelancers as much as $200,000 that they were owed.

Rice also sits on the board of Chicago-based GrubHub. According to Tesla she is a trustee at the Art Institute of Chicago and a council member of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.

Rice did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.

Brad Buss



Brad Buss was the former chief financial officer of Solar City before it was acquired by Tesla in 2016 for $2 billion. He joined Tesla’s board of directors shortly after retiring from the renewable energy unit, in February 2017. Buss owns roughly 13,000 shares of the electric-car maker, worth $4.75 million at Tuesday’s prices.

A native of Canada, Buss also serves on the board of Marvell Technology, a California-based computer storage and semiconductor chip maker.

Buss could not be reached for comment.

As reported by Business Insider