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Report: Major Investment Fund Voted to Replace Elon Musk as Tesla Chairman

Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveils the new Tesla factory in Fremont, Calif., Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2010. The new Tesla factory is the former NUMMI plant. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
AP Photo/Paul Sakuma

Major investment fund BlackRock voted to replace Elon Musk with an independent chairman for Tesla. The motion, which would not have affected Musk’s status as CEO, was voted down.

CNBC reports that funds run by investment management titan BlackRock voted to replace Elon Musk as company chairman, filling the role with an independent candidate. According to BlackRock’s filings with the SEC, the removal of Musk as company chairman would have affected his position as Tesla CEO .

The proposition was struck down — 17 million shares voted to replace Musk, but 86 million shares voted not to replace Musk as chairman. Musk has faced a tough few weeks at Tesla, initially announcing plans to take the company private then suddenly retracting his statement. However, mayn shareholders are loyal to Musk, with one stating that Tesla’s success: “would not have been possible” without Musk’s “day-to-day exposure to the company’s business.”

Discussing the decision to vote to replace Musk as chairman, a BlackRock spokesperson stated: “BlackRock’s approach to investment stewardship is driven by our fiduciary duties to our clients, the asset owners. Our approach to engaging with companies and proxy voting activities is consistent with our commitment to drive long term shareholder value for our clients.”

BlackRock controls around 6.5 million of Tesla’s 170 million shares, making them a top-ten Tesla shareholder. Investment funds run by Vanguard Group Inc reportedly voted not to replace Musk as company chairman, while funds run by Fidelity Instruments are reported to have allied with Tesla on issues such as director votes and a number of other controversial voting items.

Elon Musk is set to face serious questions from board members after he announced that he had “funding secured” to take Tesla private before suddenly deciding that he wanted the company to remain public. Musk will still have to answer for his tweets and his claim that he had “funding secured” is now being questioned by an SEC probe.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan_ or email him at lnolan@breitbart.com

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