Tesla named Larry Ellison and Kathleen Wilson-Thompson to its board on Friday, in compliance with an SEC settlement. The appointments add needed business and human resources expertise to the board — though add to questions about CEO Elon Musk's influence over the board.
Wilson-Thompson is the global head of human resources at Walgreens Boots Alliance and a former executive at Kellogg. Ellison is co-founder and executive chairman of Oracle, and recently disclosed a massive personal stake in Tesla.
"I am very close friends to Elon Musk and I am a very big investor in Tesla," Ellison said at a financial analyst meeting at the Oracle OpenWorld conference in October.
Ellison owns 3 million shares of Tesla stock, according to a company spokesperson. That stake would be worth close to $1 billion at Friday's opening price. In October, Ellison said Tesla was his second-largest holding and staunchly defended Musk against ongoing criticism of his behavior.
"You are telling me he is an idiot. I just want to know who you are so I know why I should believe you as opposed to my friend Elon," Ellison said at the time.
Tesla and Musk agreed in September to appoint a new chairman and two independent board members after an SEC lawsuit alleging that Musk misled investors with a tweet about taking the company private at $420 a share.
Shares of Tesla rose as much as 3 percent Friday morning.