Sept 28 (Reuters) - Tesla Inc said on Wednesday
that Airbnb Inc co-founder Joseph Gebbia has joined the
electric vehicle maker's board, reversing a move to trim the
number of directors at the world's most valuable carmaker.
Tesla said in June it planned to have just seven board seats
after the departure of Oracle Inc co-founder Larry
Ellison in August, sparking criticism from a shareholder body
over a lack of independent board members.
In July, SOC Investment Group filed a complaint with the
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) saying Tesla's
plan failed to comply with a 2018 "consent decree" with the SEC
that included having two independent board seats.
That agreement stemmed from a tweet by CEO Elon Musk about
taking Tesla private. Ellison, a self-described close friend of
Musk, was appointed by Tesla in December 2018 to comply with the
Gebbia, a U.S. billionaire designer and Internet
entrepreneur, joins Tesla after saying in July he would take on
an advisory role at Airbnb, stepping away from his full-time
"Congrats on an incredible company with Airbnb, now for Book
2!'" Musk tweeted at that time.
In 2018, Gebbia had lauded Musk's attempt to take Tesla
private as a "baller move" in text messages that were revealed
earlier this year as part of an ongoing shareholder lawsuit.
Musk responded, "Sucks being public."
Some experts doubted whether the billionaire would add
diversity to the Tesla board.
"This sounds like more of the same. More of the bros of Mr.
Musk rather than someone new and different," said John Coffee, a
professor and director at the Center on Corporate Governance at
Columbia Law School.
Gebbia, 41, has waived all entitlement to cash compensation
and has agreed to not take any stock-based rewards until July
2023, Tesla said in a regulatory filing.
(Reporting by Niket Nishant and Akash Sriram in Bengaluru and
Hyunjoo Jin in San Francisco; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and