Washington, Oct 1 (AP/UNB) — It won't be an easy job.
Whoever becomes the new chairman of Tesla Motors will face the formidable task of reining in Elon Musk, the charismatic, visionary chief executive with an impulsive streak, while also helping Musk achieve his dream of turning Tesla into a profitable, mass-market producer of environmentally-friendly electric cars.
Musk is giving up the chairman's role under a settlement announced Saturday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Besides a new chairman, Tesla was also ordered to appoint two new, independent members to its board. A more assertive board could provide the kind of tighter oversight that many legal experts, and Tesla investors, say is overdue for a company of Tesla's market value.
The settlement stemmed from a lawsuit the SEC filed charging Musk with misleading investors in August with a tweet that said he had "funding secured" for taking the company private.
Yet a more forceful board, coupled with a domineering CEO like Musk, could create conflicts at a risky time for the company. Visionary CEOs such as Apple's Steve Jobs and Twitter's Jack Dorsey have been forced out by strong boards of directors, though both eventually returned to their companies.
Even with the settlement, Tesla faces a daunting array of challenges.
The Justice Department has opened its own investigation into Musk's Aug. 7 tweet, in which he said he would take the company private at $420 a share. The SEC's lawsuit charged that the tweet, which caused Tesla's shares to jump, was misleading because he did not actually have the funding lined up for such a move.
Tesla is also under heavy pressure to turn a profit because it is burning through $1 billion in cash every three months and, as of the end of June, had just $2.2 billion in the bank.
Musk has said the company needs to produce 7,000 cars a week to make money, a target he aimed to reach in the July-September quarter. The company is likely to report production numbers this week and financial results from that quarter in early November.
Another concern: About $1.3 billion in Tesla debt is due to be repaid by March, including $230 million in November.
Some investors might want more than a new chairman. Tesla has no chief operating officer, a critical No. 2 executive in most companies. That's a stark contrast to other startups, such as Facebook, where Mark Zuckerberg hired Sheryl Sandberg as a highly influential COO.
In the lawsuit filed Thursday by the SEC, the agency said it was seeking to remove Musk from Tesla management altogether. Many investors have argued that keeping Musk as CEO is critical at such a time.
"I do not doubt the value of Musk to Tesla," John Coffee, a Columbia University law professor and corporate governance expert, said. "Without him, they are just a struggling start up that is burning cash at a hopeless rate and is facing a debt refunding crisis in the near future.
"Musk is an iconic entrepreneur but he needs adult supervision," Coffee added.
That's where the new board members come in. The current board, which includes Musk's brother, Kimbal Musk, is widely seen as subservient to Musk. They have publicly expressed support for many recent moves, such as his rejection last week of an early SEC settlement offer.
"The board is truly the alpha chapter of the Elon Musk fan club," said Erik Gordon, a professor at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business.
Teresa Goody, a former SEC attorney and founder of The Goody Group, a consulting firm, said that many startups begin with a powerful CEO who typically puts "friendlies" on the board.
As a company grows and becomes more sophisticated, Goody said, more independent directors are typically brought on board to provide better oversight.
"That's happening a little later in the life cycle of the company in the case of Tesla," she said.
Still, Elon Musk is different than many CEOs because he owns roughly 20 percent of the company's stock. That gives him more influence.
"In a typical case, the CEO is a high-priced employee" of the board, Gordon said. "Musk will still be more powerful than the board chair."
There will be other constraints on Musk's behavior: As part of the SEC settlement, his tweets and other comments will have to be vetted by the company before they can be released to the public.
"This humiliation — that Elon can't go outside unless he's on a leash — that will bother him the most," Gordon said. He called it an "extraordinary measure."
Gordon thinks the SEC should have gone further and sought to add as many as four new board members and remove some old ones.
Still, Gordon said, "I think this experience has shown him that however smart he is, or however powerful he thinks he is, the government is also powerful too."
Musk may want to keep a close eye on the new chairman, however. Musk himself was the chair of the board, after investing in the company, before firing the chief executive and taking over as CEO.
Dhaka, Sept 30 (UNB) - Grameenphone is launching an exclusive offer for its STAR customers in partnership with Go Zayaan, an IATA registered online travel agency which provides one-stop travel solution online.
This offer will be valid for six months effective from October 1. GP STAR customers can avail up to Tk 22,000 discount in total within the offer period while purchasing international air tickets from Go Zayaan.
The discount amount will increase for every repeat purchase within this period. This offer can only be availed from www.gozayaan.com/gpstar.
A signing ceremony was held between Grameenphone and Go Zayaan on September 27, 2018 at GP House in this regard.
AEM Saidur Rahman, Head of Customer Value Management under Marketing Department of Grameenphone Ltd, and Ridwan Hafiz, founder and CEO of Go Zayaan, signed the agreement on behalf of their respective organisations.
Other high officials of both companies were also present on the occasion.
Dhaka, Sep 30 (UNB)- Robi and Airtel- both the brands of Robi Axiata Ltd, were ready to offer Mobile Number Portability Service (MNP) in Bangladesh from Monday, as stipulated by the government.
MNP would allow the customers to switch to different operators without changing their existing mobile numbers.
Robi’s Vice President of Media, Communications and Sustainability, Ekram Kabir said “We have completed all preparation to offer the MNP service. We are confident that the customers from other operators will find the largest 4.5G network, the much expanded coverage of 3.5G service through use of U900 spectrum to be the ideal recipe for enjoying the best quality video and data service.”
As soon as customers switch to Robi, the customers will enjoy the country’s best call rate- 50 paisa per minute to any operator’s number, round the clock. Customers will also get six months validity on purchasing any voice bundle pack.
Once a customer successfully switches to Robi, he/ she can visit the MNP portal by dialing *5000# from where they will be able to purchase any product or service bundle.
Customers of other operators can also dial 018866112233 or 01644112233 to enquire about the MNP process for switching to Robi or Airtel.
In order to switch to Robi or Airtel from other operators, the customers need to visit Robi or Airtel’s customer care centres or any biometric registration points with their NID information. The customers will need to place their requests from any of these points.
Within one hour of placing the request, the customer will be provided confirmation on whether he/ she can avail the MNP service.
Once the customer qualifies to avail the MNP service, he/ she will be provided with a new Robi or Airtel SIM.
Dhaka, Sept 30 (UNB) – The much-awaited mobile number portability (MNP) service will be launched in the country on Monday on a trial basis.
The service will roll out at zero hour, said Md Jahirul Haque, acting chairman of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC).
The telecom regulator will also arrange a press briefing at its office in the morning.
The MNP service allows a subscriber to change telecom carrier keeping the same phone number.
The service will be launched officially later following feedback from customers on the test run, Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology Minister Mustafa Jabbar said on earlier on Wednesday.
The BTRC has fixed Tk 50 for availing the service at the customer level.
The operator will be changed 72 hours after applying for the MNP and a customer will have to wait for 90 days if he/she wants to change the operator again.
San Francisco, Sep 30 (AP/UNB) — Tesla and its CEO Elon Musk have agreed to pay a total of $40 million and make a series of concessions to settle a government lawsuit alleging Musk duped investors with misleading statements about a proposed buyout of the company.
The settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission allows Musk to remain CEO of the electric car company but requires him to relinquish his role as chairman for at least three years.
Tesla must hire an independent chairman to oversee the company, something that should please a number of shareholders who have criticized Tesla's board for being too beholden to Musk.
The deal was announced Saturday, just two days after SEC filed its case seeking to oust Musk as CEO.
Musk, who has an estimated $20 billion fortune, and Tesla, a company that ended June with $2.2 billion in cash, each are paying $20 million to resolve the case, which stemmed from a tweet Musk sent on Aug. 7 indicating he had the financing in place to take Tesla private at a price of $420 per share.
"A reckless tweet cost a lot of money — the $20-million tweet," said Michelle Krebs, executive analyst at Autotrader.
The deal could remove one cloud that hangs over Tesla. Investors fretted about the company's ability to cope without Musk, a charismatic entrepreneur whose penchant for coming up with revolutionary ideas has drawn comparisons to one of Silicon Valley's most revered visionaries, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.
Tesla's stock plummeted 14 percent Friday after the SEC filed its lawsuit, erasing more than $7 billion in shareholder wealth. Many analysts predicted the shares were bound to fall even further if Musk had been forced to step down. Tesla's stock has dropped 30 percent since Aug. 7, closing Friday at $264.77.
The steep downturn in Tesla's market value may have influenced Musk to have an apparent change of heart and negotiate a settlement. Musk had rejected a similar settlement offer before the SEC sued Thursday, maintaining he had done nothing wrong when he posted a tweet declaring that he had secured the financing to lead a buyout of Tesla.
The SEC alleged Musk wasn't close to locking up the estimated $25 billion to $50 billion needed to pull off the buyout.
Musk and Tesla reached their settlement without admitting to or denying the SEC's allegations.
The resolution "is in the best interests of our markets and our investors, including the shareholders of Tesla," SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said in a statement.
A Tesla spokeswoman said the company and Musk had no comment Saturday.
Besides paying a fine and stripping Musk of his chairman's title, Tesla also must appoint two more directors who have no ties to the company or its management. Musk will be allowed to remain on the board.
The company also must clamp down on Musk's communications with investors, a requirement that might make its colorful CEO's Twitter posts slightly less interesting.
"Considering the drastic punishment the SEC had announced, Musk and Tesla got lucky," said Krebs, the Autotrader analyst. "Musk at least remains at the helm of the company, and adding a couple of board members is a good thing."
The SEC also got what it wanted by bringing the combative Musk down a notch and taking steps to tone down his off-the-cuff remarks while forcing Tesla to expand its board to counterbalance its CEO's power, said Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond. Besides being CEO, Musk owns a roughly 20 percent stake in Tesla.
"Maybe this will make Musk stop acting so crazy and fly right," Tobias said.
Besides tweeting about a deal that the SEC alleged he didn't have money to pay for, Musk had been engaging in other erratic behavior that had been raising questions about whether he should remain CEO.
Musk had raised hackles by ridiculing stock market analysts for posing fairly standard questions about Tesla's shaky finances, and calling a diver who helped rescue 12 boys on a Thai soccer team from a flooded cave a pedophile, triggering a defamation lawsuit. He was also recently caught on a widely circulated video apparently smoking marijuana , a legal drug in Tesla's home state of California.
The erratic behavior has convinced more analysts that Tesla needs to find a replacement for Musk, but the SEC settlement will allow the company to do so on its own timetable, if it decides to hire a new leader.
Tesla is also under mounting pressure to overcome its past manufacturing problems and produce enough vehicles to become consistently profitable after years of huge losses.
A gauge of the company's progress should come within the next few days when Tesla is expected to release its vehicle production numbers for the July-September period.
Musk has pledged Tesla would manufacture an average of 7,000 vehicles per week, enough to turn a profit.
Tesla needs to turn the financial corner because it has $1.3 billion in debt coming due during the next six months. If it keeps burning through its cash, Tesla will likely have to raise more money to pay its bills — something that analysts say will be easier to do without any lingering doubt who will be running the company.