Tesla has named Linda Johnson Rice an independent director on its board. This makes Johnson Rice the second woman on Tesla’s board, joining Robyn Denholm.
Tesla made a statement Monday saying, “Linda has extensive corporate board experience, having previously served on the boards of a number of companies across a variety of industries, including Bausch & Lomb, Continental Bank, Quaker Oats, Dial Corporation, MoneyGram and Kimberly-Clark Corporation, and currently serving on the boards of Omnicom Group and Grubhub.”
Johnson Rice’s resumè also includes work with the Art Institute of Chicago, the Chicago Public Library Board of Directors, The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture and her own company, Johnson Publishing Company, which publishes Ebony magazine and is the parent of Fashion Fair Cosmetics.
In June 2016, CtW Investment Group, which at the time held about 200,000 shares in Tesla, called for Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, to bring new faces to the company’s board and fix “underlying governance deficiencies.” On April 12, Musk responded to that criticism via Twitter by replying to Reuters’ story on the matter from June 28, 2016.
The appointment of Linda Johnson Rice, as well as James Murdoch, may satisfy investors as a delayed, but honest step toward a more diverse Tesla. The announcement comes after the close of trading, which saw Tesla shares decline 2.6 percent due to unrelated issues with one of the company’s products.