The two additions are Tesla’s response to investor concern on corporate governance. Investors asked the Palo Alto, California-based company to recruit two new directors that didn’t have prior personal or professional ties with Musk, per The Wall Street Journal.
Rice was named CEO of Chicago-based Ebony Media Operations in March, replacing Cheryl McKissack. Rice’s father founded the magazine company and she served as its CEO until 2010 when White House social secretary Desiree Rogers took over the magazines as CEO of Johnson Publishing.
Rice remained chairman emeritus of Ebony Media Holdings, even after selling a majority stake last year to the Austin-based CVG Group. Ebony’s monthly publication is now in its 71st year and reaches nearly 11 million readers, according to the company’s website.
Rice joins the board at an interesting time for Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA). The electric car company is revving up production on its Model 3, a new $35,000 sedan that Musk expects to spur growth in 2018. Musk has also said that Tesla vehicles will be capable of traveling autonomously from Los Angeles to New York by the end of 2017 without “a single touch.”