Elizabeth Warren despatched a letter to Tesla’s board accusing Elon Musk of ‘unavoidable conflicts’ after his Twitter takeover

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has despatched a letter to Tesla’s board that accuses CEO Elon Musk of “unavoidable conflicts,” and potential “misappropriation of company belongings” associated to his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter.

Warren expressed concern over how Tesla’s board is coping with Musk since changing into Twitter’s CEO, claiming that his actions is probably not within the “greatest pursuits” of Tesla and its shareholders. It’s the board’s “obligation” to deal with the state of affairs, she stated. 

“That duty contains guaranteeing that Mr. Musk is an efficient CEO and that he fulfills his authorized obligation to behave in the very best pursuits of Tesla and all of its shareholders, not simply himself,” she wrote in a letter to Tesla chair Robyn Denholm, on Sunday. 

Within the first weeks of his Twitter takeover, Musk’s management prompted considerations over whether or not he’s “funneling Tesla sources into Twitter,” Warren wrote, citing experiences that declare Musk used Tesla software program engineers at Twitter. 

It raises questions on whether or not Mr. Musk is “appropriating sources from a publicly traded agency, Tesla, to learn his personal non-public firm, Twitter,” Warren wrote. Doing so would “violate” Musk’s authorized obligation to Tesla and immediate questions concerning the board’s competence, she stated.

Warren talked about an nameless worker who instructed CNBC that it felt nearly inconceivable to show down Musk with out going through penalties later. That raises a bigger query of whether or not staff have been pressured to work for Twitter fairly than being invited to take action, Warren stated.  

Since Musk’s Twitter acquisition, a number of advertisers have pulled their adverts from Twitter, resulting in a drop in income. Warren stated that “Twitter’s desperation for income to cowl its new money owed might additionally create conflicts.”

For instance, Musk might “shift Twitter algorithms in order that reward of Tesla merchandise obtain better consideration and criticism of Tesla merchandise can be suppressed.” He might even have Twitter present free adverts to Tesla, or it might overcharge Tesla for promoting. Both manner, Warren says it’s a battle of curiosity. 

Musk and Tesla are “inextricably intertwined,” Warren stated, which implies his actions as Twitter’s CEO, and the way Twitter is operated and perceived, might hurt Tesla’s model. 

This yr, Tesla shares have dropped greater than 62%, partly due to growing concern amongst buyers about Musk’s buy of Twitter and his deal with that firm at Tesla’s expense.                                                                                                                               

“Tesla’s losses didn’t happen in a vacuum: whereas not all losses may be attributed to Mr. Musk’s choice to take over Twitter, there seems to be a direct hyperlink, with one analyst calling the Twitter deal an “albatross” that hangs over Tesla,” Warren wrote. 

She additionally included a dozen questions for the board about any casual or formal agreements between Tesla and Twitter. Moreover, she requested about any protections the board has in place to keep away from conflicts of curiosity involving Musk, and if it has reviewed Musk’s actions associated to the 2 firms. 

“Regardless of widespread considerations about Mr. Musk’s acquisition of Twitter whereas serving as CEO of Tesla, it stays unclear whether or not the Tesla Board—which has key choice making authority inside the firm—is sufficiently governing the corporate or if it has established clear guidelines and insurance policies to deal with the dangers to Tesla posed by Mr. Musk’s twin roles,” Warren wrote. 

Musk, Tesla, and Twitter didn’t instantly reply to Fortune’s request for remark. 

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