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HomeTechTesla shareholders choose former CTO, co-founder JB Straubel to board

Tesla shareholders choose former CTO, co-founder JB Straubel to board


JB Straubel is officially back at Tesla – this time as a board member.

The former CTO and co-founder of Tesla was elected by shareholders as an independent board of directors on Tuesday. A crowd of Tesla shareholders, gathered at the company’s Gigafactory Texas in Austin for the event, cheered as the first results were read out and Straubel was officially named the newest board member.

Shareholders elected three directors for three-year terms. Tesla had nominated Musk, current chairman Robyn Denholm and Straubel.

Prior to Tesla’s 2023 shareholders’ meeting, Tesla’s eight-member board consisted of Musk, his brother Kimbal Musk, lra Ehrenpreis, chairman Robyn Denholm, Hiromichi Mizuno, Joe Gebbia, James Murdoch and Kathleen Wilson-Thompson.

Straubel, who currently runs the battery materials and recycling company he founded, will take over the spot vacated by Mizuno, the former chief investment officer of Japan’s $1.5 trillion pension fund. Mizuno joined the board and audit committee in 2020 and is not seeking re-election.

Straubel joined Tesla in 2004 and served as CTO for 14 years. He was largely seen as the silent steady hand behind the controversial CEO. Straubel was responsible for some of the company’s key technology, particularly in the battery field. As a result, he is a wildly popular manager. When he was nominated for the board, it was assumed that he would be elected to the position.

During his tenure at Tesla, Straubel led the construction and concept of Gigafactory Nevada and the production ramp of its Model 3 sedan. Straubel left Tesla in 2019. Drew Baglino, vice president of technology, took over. At the time, Tesla said Straubel would remain in the senior advisor role.

After Straubel left the automaker, he plunged into scaling Redwood Materials, a supplier and recycler of battery materials founded in 2017. Based in Carson City, Nevada, Redwood Materials has since raised and secured hundreds of millions in corporate and venture capital in several high-profile customer deals with companies such as Panasonic and Amazon.

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