Tesla shareholders voted Tuesday to keep company founder and CEO Elon Musk in place as its chairman of the board, defeating a measure that sought to replace the mercurial tech entrepreneur with an independent executive.
Tesla is set to disclose the full results of the vote in an 8-K filing within the next four business days. The decision represented a major show of confidence in Musk, who has drawn criticism in recent months amid stock pressure, concerns about Tesla’s ability to meet production benchmarks and his treatment of media figures and analysts.
“This is the most excruciating, hellish several months I’ve maybe ever had,” Musk said after the vote at Tesla’s annual meeting. “But I think we’re getting there.”
Shareholder Jing Zhao, who owns 12 shares of Tesla, argued that Musk should be replaced with an independent chairman given Tesla’s recent growth in a rapidly changing business sector and his other commitments to rocket company SpaceX and infrastructure firm The Boring Company. Zhao’s proposal had drawn support from two of Tesla’s most prominent proxy advisers, Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass Lewis.
Tesla shareholders also voted to confirm three members of the company’s board of directors, including 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch and Musk’s younger brother, Kimbal Musk. Critics had sought their removal amid concerns about their qualifications and ability to focus on their responsibilities to the company.
Speaking at the shareholder meeting, Musk said Tesla should be able to produce 5,000 units per week of its flagship Model 3 electric sedan by the end of June. Concerns about Tesla’s ability to meet demand had weighed on the company’s stock in recent months. Tesla shares are down about 7% so far this year. Musk also confirmed that Tesla will build its first factory outside the U.S. in China.
21st Century Fox is the parent company of Fox News and Fox Business.