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4 of 11 Tesla Board Members to Step Down by 2020

In November 2018, Musk was replaced by Robyn Denholm as the chairperson of the company’s board

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Visitors inspect Tesla electric cars at Brussels Motor Show, Belgium, Jan. 18, 2019. VOA

In a move that is likely to weaken the powers of Electric Vehicle (EV) maker Tesla Founder Elon Musk and cut some of his strongest allies from the board of directors, the company has said that four of its 11-member board would step down by 2020, thus shrinking the board’s size by more than a third.

The EV maker reportedly said two directors plan to leave its board in June and two more intend to step down next year as part of a move to improve corporate governance of the electric car company.

“Brad Buss, a member of the board since 2009, and Linda Johnson Rice, who joined two years ago, have asked not to be re-elected when shareholders convene on June 11 for Tesla’s annual general meeting, the company said in a preliminary proxy statement,” The New York Times reported late on Friday.

The departing members of the board include Antonio Gracias and Stephen Jurvetson — close friends of Musk who are also directors in SpaceX, Musk’s space launch company.

Tesla CEO Elon musk, board
Tesla CEO Elon Musk. (VOA)

A member of the board since 2009, Buss was also the Chief Financial Officer of solar panel installer SolarCity for two years until Tesla acquired the firm in 2016.

“Shrinking the board will ‘allow it to operate more nimbly and efficiently’,” the company was quoted as saying in The NYT report.

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In November 2018, Musk was replaced by Robyn Denholm as the chairperson of the company’s board.

Musk had agreed to step down as the Chairman of Tesla for three years and pay a $20 million fine in a deal with the stock market regulatory authority, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), to resolve securities fraud charges. (IANS)

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Amazon Employees Risk Their Jobs by Criticizing Amazon’s Record on Climate Change

Workers Criticize Amazon on Climate Despite Risk to Jobs

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Amazon employees
Employees walk through a lobby at Amazon's headquarters in Seattle. VOA

Hundreds of employees are openly criticizing Amazon’s record on climate change despite what they say is a company policy that puts their jobs at risk for speaking out.

On Sunday, more than 300 employees of the online retail giant signed their names and job titles to statements on blog post on Medium. The online protest was organized by a group called Amazon Employees For Climate Justice, an advocacy group founded by Amazon workers that earlier this month said the company had sent letters to its members threatening to fire them if they continued to speak to the press.

“It’s our moral responsibility to speak up, and the changes to the communications policy are censoring us from exercising that responsibility,” said Sarah Tracy, a software development engineer at Amazon, in a statement.

Amazon employees at the company logistics centre in Boves
The logo of Amazon is seen at the company logistics centre in Boves, France. VOA

Amazon said that its policy on external communications is not new and is in keeping with other large companies. It said the policy applies to all Amazon employees and is not directed at any specific group.

“While all employees are welcome to engage constructively with any of the many teams inside the company that work on sustainability and other topics, we do enforce our external communications policy and will not allow employees to publicly disparage or misrepresent the company or the hard work of their colleagues who are developing solutions to these hard problems,” according to a spokesperson from the company.

Amazon, which relies on fossil fuels to power the planes, trucks and vans that ship packages all over the world, has an enormous carbon footprint. And its workers have been vocal in criticizing some of the company’s practices.

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Last year, more than 8,000 staffers signed an open letter to CEO and founder Jeff Bezos demanding that it cut its carbon emissions, end its use of fossil fuels and stop its work with oil companies that use Amazon’s technology to locate fossil fuel deposits.

The company said in a statement that it is passionate about climate change issues and has already pledged to become net zero carbon by 2040 and use 100% renewable energy by 2030. (VOA)