Is Tesla Afraid of Shareholder Proposals?

Tesla investors will have fewer opportunities to express discontent with management at the company’s annual meeting, which is taking place Tuesday in Austin, Texas, because of what some shareholders said was a deliberate attempt by the automaker to suppress dissent.

In October, Tesla moved up the meeting from August to May and gave shareholders two fewer months to file proposals. Tesla announced the new Dec. 22 deadline for proposals at the end of a 60-page regulatory filing, and most activist investors overlooked the change.

Tesla and its chief executive, Elon Musk, have often been criticized by activist investors on a variety of issues, including allegations of racial discrimination at its California factory, the company’s hostility to labor unions and whether its board is doing a good job overseeing management. Mr. Musk and Tesla’s board members have dismissed complaints about discrimination and pointed to the company’s strong profits and sales growth as evidence that it is performing exceedingly well.

At several recent annual meetings, the activists have introduced proposals to push the company to consider making changes — most of which have failed to garner enough support. This year, only one shareholder proposal made it othe agenda. Filed by an investor from Iceland, that proposal asks Tesla to come up with a plan to replace Mr. Musk if he quits or can no longer do his job.

Tesla Changed a Deadline for Investor Proposals, Angering Activists – The New York Times

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