The board of directors at Tesla has a new member today as Larry Sonsini has joined the party. The presence of Sonsini as a member of the Tesla team is of particular importance moving forward because of his area of expertise. Sonsini is Chairman of Silicon Valley law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and a specialist in IPOs and mergers and acquisitions. This is important because Tesla chairman Elon Musk has previously declared that the company will be going public, likely sometime in 2009.

According Tesla's Darryl Siry, Sonsini "is the most influential lawyer in the valley and has extraordinary experience with corporate structuring, IPOs, governance, and M&A." Sonsini will be providing guidance to the board on how to move forward. Sonsini has previously been involved in the Google IPO and the Hewlett-Packard/Compaq merger. The plan is to use the proceeds from the IPO in part to fund the development and production of the WhiteStar sedan and the future lower-priced high-volume model. Meanwhile founding board member Laurie Yoler will shift over to the limbo of the Tesla Motors Advisory Board. The full press release is after the jump.

Press Release:

Larry W. Sonsini Joins Tesla Motors Board of Directors

Source: Tesla Motors
Date: May 13th, 2008

Larry W. Sonsini, Chairman of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, has been elected to the board of directors of Tesla Motors, manufacturer of the breakthrough Tesla Roadster high-performance electric vehicle.

Mr. Sonsini has gained international recognition for his expertise in the areas of corporate law, corporate governance, securities, and mergers and acquisitions. He has been instrumental in many of the IPOs, mergers, acquisitions, and other key transactions of Silicon Valley and beyond, including Google's historic IPO and Hewlett-Packard's merger with Compaq Computer.

In addition to his duties at his firm, which included serving as chief executive officer as well as chairman for more than 20 years, Larry was a member of the board of directors of the New York Stock Exchange from 2001 to 2003, and served for more than five years as Chairman of the NYSE Regulation, enforcement and Listing Standards Committee.

Larry is one of the country's best-known governance experts. In addition to serving on a number of public company boards, he was named "one of the most influential players in U.S. corporate governance" by Directorship magazine, recognized as Business Leader of the Year by the Harvard Business School Association of Northern California, and received the Bay Area Council's Business Hall of Fame award.

Larry joined Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in 1966 upon receiving his J.D. from Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, Berkeley. He also received an A.B. from UC Berkeley in 1963. Larry was admitted to the California Bar in 1966.

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati has since grown into the premier legal advisor to technology and growth companies worldwide, advising over 300 public enterprises on issues of corporate law, securities and corporate governance. In the past 5 years, the firm has advised clients on over 350 public offerings, more than any other law firm worldwide. In addition, the firm has completed over 400 public equity and debt financings and advised on more than 1,000 M&A transactions.

"Larry Sonsini has played a role in building and advising some of the most successful companies in existence today," said Elon Musk, Chairman of Tesla Motors, "His guidance will be invaluable as Tesla Motors drives forward the electric transport revolution and grows to become one of the great car companies of the 21st century."

Laurie Yoler, who has served on the Tesla Motors Board of Directors since the company's founding, will transition to the Tesla Motors Advisory Board.

[Source: Tesla Motors]

Share This Photo X