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Tesla Names Larry Ellison and Kathleen Wilson-Thompson to Its Board

Tesla added Larry Ellison, executive chairman and founder of the software giant Oracle, and a senior executive at Walgreens Boots Alliance to its board of directors, fulfilling a key provision of a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission.The board added Mr. Ellison, who bought three million shares of Tesla stock earlier this year, and Kathleen Wilson-Thompson, who is in charge of human resources at Walgreens Boots Alliance, as independent directors on Thursday, the company said in a securities filing on Friday.Tesla stock closed up 5.6 percent on Friday after the company announced the appointments.In September, the S.E.C. required Tesla to add two independent board members and…

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G.M.’s President Will Take Over Its Self-Driving Effort

A top General Motors official is taking on a new role that underlines the auto industry’s intense push to develop and commercialize self-driving cars.The official, Dan Ammann, will give up the job of G.M. president and become chief executive of Cruise, the division working on autonomous vehicles, the company said Thursday.The move gives Cruise increased management heft as it prepares to start a driverless-ride service by the end of 2019. G.M. expects the service and other related businesses to expand rapidly, and Mr. Ammann said it could involve “trillions” of self-driving cars in the future.“This is technology that we wanted to develop and deploy in massive scale,…

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Google Cloud Executive Who Sought Pentagon Contract Steps Down

SAN FRANCISCO — Diane Greene, whose pursuit of Pentagon contracts for artificial intelligence technology sparked a worker uprising at Google, is stepping down as chief executive of the company’s cloud computing business.Ms. Greene said she would stay on as chief executive until January. She will be replaced by Thomas Kurian, who oversaw product development at Oracle until his resignation in October. Ms. Greene will remain a board director at Google’s parent company, Alphabet.The change in leadership caps a turbulent three years for Ms. Greene, who was brought on to expand Google’s cloud computing business. Google Cloud has struggled to make major inroads in persuading corporate customers to…

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Mark Zuckerberg Defends Facebook as Furor Over Its Tactics Grows

WASHINGTON — On Thursday, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive and chairman, held a conference call with reporters to discuss how the social network manages problematic posts and its community standards.The call quickly went sideways. For more than an hour, the 34-year-old billionaire instead fielded questions about how he and his No. 2, Sheryl Sandberg, obfuscated problems such as Russian interference on Facebook and how the company had gone on the attack against rivals and critics. In response, Mr. Zuckerberg — at times defiant and at times conciliatory — defended the social network, Ms. Sandberg and his own record.“The reality of running a company of more than 10,000…

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Barry Rand, Barrier-Breaking Chief Executive, Is Dead at 74

Barry Rand, who in 1999 became one of the few African-American chief executives of a Fortune 500 company when he took control of Avis, the rental car company, after being passed over for the top job at Xerox, died on Nov. 7 in an assisted living facility in Norwalk, Conn. He was 74.His wife, Donna Rand, said the cause was Alzheimer’s disease.Running a major corporation was a critical goal for Mr. Rand. He had spent 30 years at Xerox, rising to executive vice president of operations while developing a reputation as a strong salesman and motivator who helped build a highly diverse workplace.But despite Mr. Rand’s determination…

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Tesla Names a Successor to Elon Musk as Board Chief

Six weeks after settling a securities-fraud lawsuit with federal regulators, Tesla and Elon Musk have made good on one of the agreement’s key provisions — naming a new board chief to impose order on a company whose automaking has often been overshadowed by Mr. Musk’s behavior.The company said a current director, Robyn Denholm, would become its chairwoman immediately. Mr. Musk stepped down as chairman last month but remains Tesla’s chief executive.Ms. Denholm, 55, is the chief financial officer of Telstra, which dominates telecommunications in Australia. She is a longtime technology executive with experience in Silicon Valley, where Tesla is based, and once worked for Toyota in Australia.The…

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State of the Art: How Mark Zuckerberg Became Too Big to Fail

A few weeks ago, after Facebook revealed that tens of millions of its users’ accounts had been exposed in a security breach, I began asking people in and around the tech industry a simple question: Should Mark Zuckerberg still be running Facebook?I’ll spare you the suspense. Just about everyone thought Mr. Zuckerberg was still the right man for the job, if not the only man for the job. This included people who currently work at Facebook, people who used to work at Facebook, financial analysts, venture capitalists, tech-skeptic activists, ardent critics of the company and its giddiest supporters.The consensus went like this: Even if Mr. Zuckerberg —…

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Snap Continues to Struggle to Gain Users

SAN FRANCISCO — Snap, the maker of the disappearing-message app Snapchat, is continuing to struggle.The social media company said on Thursday that it lost two million daily active users over the past three months after shedding three million over the summer, knocking its total down to 186 million. While that number was up from a year earlier, the consecutive quarterly losses were troubling for a company that has not been dealing with the problems of disinformation and bias that have put other social media firms under scrutiny.Snap also continued to lose money. While the company said its revenue rose 43 percent to a record $298 million in…

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Elon Musk Steps Down as Tesla’s Chairman in Settlement With S.E.C. Over Go-Private Tweet

Elon Musk, under pressure from his lawyers and investors of Tesla, the company he co-founded, reached a deal with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Saturday to resolve securities fraud charges. The settlement will force Mr. Musk to step aside as chairman for three years and pay a $20 million fine.The S.E.C. announced the deal two days after it sued Mr. Musk in federal court for misleading investors over his post on Twitter last month that he had “funding secured” for a buyout of the electric-car company at $420 a share.The deal with the S.E.C. will allow him to remain as chief executive, something he could have…

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When Zuckerberg Asserted Control, Instagram’s Founders Chafed

SAN FRANCISCO — In a companywide meeting earlier this year, Mark Zuckerberg was asked if Instagram could have hit one billion users if it had not been bought by Facebook.Probably not, he said. At least, not as quickly.But at a later meeting a mile or so down the road at Instagram’s headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., a few streets, interestingly enough, off a thoroughfare called Independence Drive, the popular photo-sharing app’s co-founders, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, had a slightly different answer to that question.Perhaps. Eventually.We will never know who was right. But we will know soon enough what Instagram will be like without its co-founders. On…

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