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Governance

Tesla shareholders defeat pension fund-supported independent board chair proposal

A majority of Tesla Inc. shareholders supported three directors up for re-election at the company's annual meeting Tuesday and defeated a shareholder proposal calling for an independent board chair.

Exact voting results were not immediately available.

Large pension funds that supported the independent chairman proposal included the C$356.1 billion ($274.4 billion) Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Toronto; $224.8 billion California State Teachers' Retirement System, West Sacramento; $204.9 billion Florida State Board of Administration, Tallahassee; and $146 billion Texas Teacher Retirement System, Austin. Norges Bank Investment Management, which manages Norway's 8.12 trillion kroner ($991 billion) Government Pension Fund Global, Oslo, also supported the proposal.

Additionally, all five entities supported a shareholder proposal calling for proxy access. Voting results for the proxy-access proposal could not immediately be learned.

Regarding director elections, CalSTRS, CPPIB, Texas Teachers and the FSBA all voted against the re-election of director James Murdoch. CalSTRS, CPPIB, Texas Teachers and Norges Bank voted against director Antonio Gracias, and CalSTRS voted against director Kimbal Musk, brother of CEO and Chairman Elon Musk.

Proxy-voting advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services recommended that shareholders support the independent chair and proxy-access proposals and vote against the re-election of Messrs. Gracias and Murdoch.

CtW Investment Group, which works with union pension funds, had urged shareholders to vote against all three directors, arguing that issues including missed Model 3 production targets showed the board has been insufficient in governing Elon Musk and the company.

Officials at Tesla could not immediately be reached for further information.

Paulina Pielichata and Bloomberg contributed to this story.