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Westly on Tesla Board

Discussion in 'Tesla Motors' started by vfx, Mar 15, 2007.

  1. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

    Aug 18, 2006
    CA CA
    There have been a few articles about the new Tesla Boad member Steve Westly. A pretty heavey hitter in CA.

    Watch for the word "public".

    Business digest: Tesla Motors names former eBay exec to board
    From Mercury News staff, Bloomberg News and the Associated Press
    Article Launched: 03/01/2007 02:11:26 AM PST

    Tesla Motors named former eBay executive and former gubernatorial candidate Steve Westly to its board of directors Wednesday.

    Westly, a former controller for California, spent $35 million of his own money trying to become the state's governor in 2006. He lost in the Democratic primary to state Treasurer Phil Angelides, who lost to incumbent Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in the general election.

    In a statement, Eberhard noted Westly's ties to Silicon Valley as well as his experience "taking companies public."

    Tesla, a San Carlos electric-vehicle start-up, will introduce its first model, a $92,000 two-seat roadster, later this year. It recently announced it will build its second model, a $50,000 sedan, at a new factory in New Mexico scheduled to open in late 2009.

    This one from the LA Times covers the man another way:,1,7739303.column?track=rss


    Of the three politicos-turned-energy-entrepreneurs, Westly boasts the most impressive corporate resume. He worked at a handful of high-tech firms before becoming a top executive at EBay Inc., the online auction site, in 1997. He went on to gross $245.9 million from sales of EBay stock between 1999 and 2003.

    Sitting in his Menlo Park office last week on the campus of Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers — the famed Silicon Valley venture-capital concern — Westly displayed the cool deportment of a can't-miss investor (at least if you were willing to overlook the $35 million of his own dough that the Democrat sank into his ill-fated bid for the governorship last year). He's been digging into energy issues, he points out, since he was a young aide in the Carter administration and the sweater-sporting president had solar panels affixed to the White House.

    Back then, Westly admits, you had to be "a granola head" to spend $40,000 for a residential solar setup. But not anymore. Whereas it used to take 15 years for a homeowner's investment to pay off in the form of lower energy bills, it's now just seven to eight years before things pencil out, thanks to rising electricity costs and government rebates in certain states such as California. And that time frame could shrink to as few as four years, Westly says, if further government tax credits and refunds kick in.

    Combine that with the public's newfound sensitivity toward the environment and "you're going to see the amount of solar being installed go through the ceiling," he predicts.

    Betting as much, Westly has invested in Akeena Solar, a Los Gatos, Calif.-based provider of sun-driven energy systems. He's also consulting for Energy Innovations Inc., a solar-power supplier in Pasadena. And, confident that many of us will soon be charging electric cars with a solar hookup in our garages, he has taken a seat on the board of Tesla Motors Inc. The San Carlos, Calif., company is marketing a sexy, $92,000 battery-powered roadster that has become a media darling, and it's aiming to build a $50,000 electric passenger sedan.

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