Tesla Inc. Chairman Robyn Denholm speaks at an American Chamber of Commerce Australia event in Sydney, Australia, Wednesday, March 27, 2019.

Brendan Thorne | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Tesla Chairman Robyn Denholm just sold her $17.3 million stake in the electric car maker. According to a filing On Monday, her stock sales totaled more than $50 million this year.

Denholm, who joined Tesla’s board as an independent director in 2014 and became chairman four years later, sold the shares as part of a 10b5-1 plan implemented in October. She has now sold all 281,116 shares allowed under the agreement.

Denholm still owns the vast majority of the 1.66 million shares she held as of late last year, according to the company. Company agent filing, her stock sale follows heavy selling by other big stakeholders. A document shows that Tesla’s former senior vice president Drew Baglino announced his resignation in mid-April and sold approximately $181.5 million worth of stock shortly after his departure.

Another Tesla board member, Kathleen Wilson-Thompson, developed a 10b5-1 trading plan in February 2024 to potentially sell up to 280,000 shares on or before February 28, 2025.

Tesla shares have fallen 26% this year, closing at $184.76 on Monday. The decline comes as the company faces increased competition, weak demand for electric vehicles and falling first-quarter deliveries.

Chief Executive Musk has sought to focus investors’ attention on the company’s self-driving future rather than its core automotive business. He told investors on Tesla’s earnings call last month that people who doubt the company’s ability to deliver self-driving cars should stay away from the stock. Tesla has been working for years to develop software that would enable its existing cars to drive themselves, specialized robotaxis and humanoid robots that could work in factories, but has yet to bring them to market.

“If someone doesn’t believe Tesla is going to solve the self-driving problem, I don’t think they should be an investor in the company,” Musk said on the call.

In Denholm’s early years on Tesla’s board, she served on the audit committee. She eventually replaced Musk as chairman in November 2018 after the company reached an agreement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to resolve civil securities fraud charges that required Musk to temporarily relinquish the position, among other terms.

The SEC filed securities fraud charges against Musk and Tesla after Musk said in a series of tweets in 2018 that he was considering taking the company private at $420 a share with “funding secured.” accusation. The tweets caused Tesla stock prices to fluctuate wildly.

Prior to joining Tesla’s board of directors, Denholm held senior executive positions at Sun Microsystems and held financial positions at Toyota Motor Australia and Arthur Andersen. Denholm currently serves as a member of Tesla’s Audit, Compensation, Nominating and Corporate Governance and Disclosure Control Committees.

Denholm, who did not respond to a request for comment, is a named defendant in the shareholder lawsuit against Tornetta v. Musk, which was decided in January. The judge in the Delaware case ruled that Tesla’s 2018 CEO compensation plan, the largest in the history of a public company, was only allowed by a board “subject to Musk” and should therefore be revoked.

Chancellor Katherine McCormick wrote that, in her opinion, Denholm received a “life-changing” salary by serving on Tesla’s board that “far exceeds what she would have received from other sources.” .

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Denholm’s latest work The stock sale comes at a time when Tesla is in trouble and undergoing a broad restructuring effort that includes thousands of layoffs.

Demand for Tesla’s electric vehicles fell in the first quarter, and inventory levels rose significantly. Revenue during the period fell 9% from the same period last year, the largest decline since 2012, and net profit plummeted 55%.

Musk said in an internal memo in April that Tesla would lay off more than 10% of its global workforce. He did not reveal which departments or locations were most affected. On the earnings call, he called the restructuring “Operation Pruning,” adding, “We’re not giving up on anything that I know is important.” He said that if the company was “wrong 5 percent a year” organizationally, it would Then its cumulative inefficiency will reach 25% or 30%.

Denholm and Musk are currently trying to convince shareholders to join Tesla directors and executives in voting on multiple proxy proposals.

The most significant proposal calls for shareholders to return their compensation package to Musk, which the Delaware Court of Chancery invalidated in its Tornetta decision. Musk’s compensation package will include tens of billions of dollars worth of Tesla stock.

Tesla’s largest individual retail shareholder, technology billionaire Leo Koguan, has repeatedly called on investors to vote against the plan. In X’s post, Koguan Recently written“Don’t be stupid, just vote against it.”

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