DETROIT — Electric car maker Tesla Inc. has named two new directors to its board, heading off criticism from some investors that its board members are too closely linked.

James Murdoch, the CEO of 21st Century Fox, and Linda Johnson Rice, the chairman and CEO of Johnson Publishing Co., are joining the now nine-member board.

Murdoch — the son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch — has held several leadership roles at Fox. He also started a foundation that supports environmental sustainability.

Rice heads Ebony Media Operations and has served on numerous corporate and charitable boards.

Earlier this year, some Connecticut pension funds called for annual elections of board members. They noted, for example, that Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s brother serves on Tesla’s board.

But shareholders sided with Tesla, which backed three-year terms.

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