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Tesla adds Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia to board

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Joe Gebbia, co-founder of Airbnb and chairman of Airbnb.org, during South By Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas, U.S., on Sunday, March 13, 2022.

Matthew Busch | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Tesla has added Airbnb co-founder, designer, and billionaire Joe Gebbia as an independent member to its board of directors according to a regulatory filing out Wednesday.

Gebbia’s addition to the board of Elon Musk’s electric vehicle maker follows the departure of Oracle chairman and chief technology officer Larry Ellison, which was announced in June and finalized after a shareholders’ proxy vote in August.

Tesla added Ellison and former Walgreens Boots Alliance exec Kathleen Wilson-Thompson to the board in Dec. 2018 in order to comply with the terms of a settlement agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC had charged Tesla and Musk with civil securities fraud after the CEO tweeted that he was considering taking Tesla private for $420 per share and had funding secured to do so.

Adding Gebbia to the Tesla board may help Tesla avoid further conflict with the SEC, which has initiated multiple probes to determine that Musk and Tesla remain in compliance with their agreement.

A designer by training, Gebbia had been with Airbnb since its earliest days in 2007. He stepped down from his operating role at the short term rentals juggernaut in July this year.

However, Gebbia remains on the Airbnb board and serves as chairman of Airbnb.org, the company’s affiliated nonprofit that provides housing to people displaced in times of crisis, including those impacted by natural disasters and global conflicts.

Tesla noted in a company blog post and filings with the SEC that Gebbia has “waived entitlement to cash compensation” until further notice, and waived “equity compensation until July 2023,” until the board decides on what appropriate equity compensation will look like for each member moving forward.

Gebbia has not been assigned to any Tesla board committees yet.

Tesla’s other non-executive board members include:

  • Chairwoman Robyn Denholm
  • Ira Ehrenpreis, founder of the venture capital investment firm DBL Partners
  • Former Japanese pension fund executive Hiro Mizuno, who is the UN’s special envoy on innovative finance and sustainable investing
  • Media entrepreneur James Murdoch
  • Restaurateur Kimbal Musk, who is CEO Elon Musk’s brother.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Gebbia’s appointment and the SEC.

Source: CNBC